Last night we spent several hours helping our younger son to bring his vision of the Underworld from the Aeneas to life in a board game. I'm proud of him. He planned it -- drew the game on paper, designed the parts, planned the use of his time well, and stuck with it until it was done last night. I think his efforts show that he is maturing in his ability to take responsibility for his work.
And the ghosts dancing on wires are cool. As is the fortress. And the names each ghost has.
Anyway, I was listening the radio the other morning, and the talk show host said that everyone agrees that the ultimate goal of parenting is to raise happy kids.
Is that the ultimate goal of parenting? I don't think I agree.
For me, the ultimate goals of parenting might include ideas like raising a child to an adult who can use the gifts he has been given to serve others and God, who can demonstrate maturity and responsibility, who can lead a fulfilling life, who has found his niche in the world where his greatest desires meet God's greatest needs, who finds love -- both ways to give it and receive it, who can develop a relationship with another human partner, who can place the needs of others above his own, who can fulfill his potential.
I think all of this will lead to a happy and joy-filled adult.
Moving a child toward these goals does not always lead to a happy child. An unhappy child is sometimes the temporary consequence.
Having said that, as I raise children, along the way, I want them to feel safe, secure, comfortable with themselves and happy. It's just that temporary happiness is not my ultimate goal.