Supporting Parents. Fostering Change.

The Pursuit Of Happiness

What is happiness and are happy people doing something differently from unhappy people? Is there an insider key to happiness that some have figured out and others have not? You might think so with the bevy of books, videos, seminars and self-help gurus out there, but the real truth is happiness has a different definition for each of us. I do not know what makes you happy, but I am certain that finding a level of content in your life will reap huge rewards for you and your family.

Viewing happiness as a fixed state makes achievement unrealistic and ultimately disappointing.  Feelings of happiness ebb and flow.  We all have our ups and downs, and happy children (and parents) seem to know that.  Happy children have confidence in their abilities to solve problems. They view mistakes and setbacks as challenges rather than insurmountable problems.

Parent happiness and personal happiness are not the same. When asked the question, “What makes you happy?” many parents will answer, “I’m happy as long as my kids are happy.” The problem is:  if your children are happy all the time, you are working way too hard!  After all, there are enormous benefits to experiencing daily doses of emotional distress.  Children are empowered by the process of falling down, skinning their knees, brushing themselves off, and moving forward.  When your child takes a spill, your job as parent is to communicate both verbally and non-verbally; “You have this,” “This is temporary,” “I know you can handle it.”

an excellent article from The Washington Post.


Cathi Cohen, LCSW, CGP

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Here is a great article from Psychology Today discussing what happy people do differently.


Cathi Cohen, LCSW, CGP

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