Friday, January 21, 2011

Nothing beats a happy kid

Today I thought I’d share a simple little picture; it's a Liam Lyons original and as far as I’m concerned, it says it all:

As parents, we feel so much pressure to push our children to achieve, to do, to excel… and if you ask me, it starts at a frightfully early age. Liam is only six and we’re feeling it already… the pressure to sign up for every sport under the sun, to take music lessons, to get good grades, and so on and so forth. For crying out loud, he just turned six!
 Does it really matter if he masters dribbling, plays the violin and gets “4s” (that's the best you can get in first grade) in everything?  I feel like we've lost sight of what’s really important.  Generally speaking, we've forgotten that all we really need – or should hope – for our kids is for them to be happy. As far as I can recall, childhood is supposed to be a happy time, right? Because if not then, when? If you can't summon up some simple joie de vivre when you're a kid -- perhaps because you're too busy being shuttled from playdate to music lessons to sports practice -- how ever will you find happiness when you're faced with a mortgage and bills to pay?!  I say happiness starts early and it's up to us as parents to nurture it and keep it growing.

Right now, I’m feeling pretty good that at least one of my kids has made the declarative statement (and accompanying self portrait!) that he is indeed happy. I hope he stays that way; it’s what I hope for all of our little Lyons Cubs. Happiness. Plain and simple.

I also hope that I don’t get swept up in the madness, as I know I’m prone to do; I hope that when my kids are feeling the pressure and being pushed and pulled and shuttled about,  that I remember to pause, take stock, and assess how they are really feeling. That I remember at the end of the day, the most any of us can hope to achieve, to do, to excel in is happiness. Plain and simple.

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