Monday, July 09, 2007

Least Happy Kid

“You are only as happy as your least happy kid.”

I have lived by this saying ever since I figured it out. When my kids are happy, then I’m happy and when they’re unhappy, my life is down right miserable. Of course I’m not talking about doing everything for them, or that I should manipulate their lives, in such a way, that they don’t experience obstacles, challenges and even failure. For kids (or anyone for that matter) to not experience and overcome difficulties in their lives, would produce unsatisfied, insecure, unhappy adults.

What I’m talking about though, is when your kids face things which are insurmountable. When their developing egos and self esteem take such a hit, that their outlook become dark and hopeless. If I see that, I feel as a parent, it’s my duty to step in. Happy kids, come from secure, supportive, loving homes. My kids have strength, knowing that someone is in their corner.

Obviously, I’m on this rant, because one of my kids is really struggling. I put him into a fancy summer music program, thinking that it would be fun, that he’d meet like minded kids and find interesting ways to experience and play music. Unfortunately, this program has very little of that, it’s very intense, beyond his musical ability, and very confusing. It seems to be extremely performance oriented.

Now, I believe in letting my kids make their own decisions about a lot of things, and I may caution them, but it’s ultimately their choices and they have to live with the consequences (this doesn’t apply to anything dangerous, I totally have total rule on that one, at least for now). But this is a program that I put him into and I know he’ll force himself to stay in it, because he doesn’t want to disappoint me.

Damn, I’m such a shmuck. I have an unhappy kid and it’s all my doing. If he stays in the program will the joy of music be ground out of him? If I pull him out, will he feel like a failure? Nothing like seeing your kid, force a smile through his tears and walk away as if the weight of the world is on his shoulders.


  1. It's hard to see them go through things, but it's how they grow up, no way around it. If it's not a good fit for him, he knows it, if he walks away, it's because it wasn't a good fit and it's good to learn what is and isn't a good failure in that at all.

  2. That's what I want to teach him! It's not a good or bad thing, but a process called learning.