There seems to be a trend going around on the internet lately in which it is pretty much a bad thing to be worried about our kids’ happiness and trying to keep them happy all the time. Pinterest is full of ideas on how to keep your kid happy. The premise I agree with but in my world I do not see parents doing what the bloggers are lamenting they are doing.
Now maybe it is just because my world is small and has gotten smaller now that I do not work with people with disabilities. In my world I just don’t see having to keep kids happy a thing with parents of kid with disabilities. We are in a different realm. From the very beginning of a diagnosis we are looking to the future; a future without us one day. A future were they are going to have to handle disappointment, shattered dreams, and people who just don’t get them…… at all.
We deal with the tantrums and work through them. We know our kids can’t be doing this in school or the work place and we need them to be able to self regulate for a productive future. We need them to work through the anger. We work through the sadness because it will be a companion following disappointment. We work towards feelings of pride because it is going to be the little conquests that make up a mountain top experience. Yes we want our kids to be happy but for them to be happy all the time is not our reality.
Emotions are more intense in my world. Thus I don’t care about how happy my child is. If I cared how happy he was I would have boughten the chocolate milk instead of a new bike. Yes we almost had a melt down because I would not buy the chocolate milk at the store because we were buying a bike which he needed since he was way to big for his other one. So you see happiness is not on our radar all the time. If I cared about happiness now I would buy him a pack of gum every….single….time….we went into a store.
Our happiness meter is future oriented. Kuddos to all you parents who are struggling with the fluctuating emotions. You are teaching them skills that many of their typical developing peers are not learning. Good job parents with challenging kids. You can just skip over all those articles because most likely they don’t apply to you. You are in the future zone and doing all you can to help your child grow into a productive adult.