Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Happiness trumps success

This afternoon I was reading this article about some research about American-Chinese students and their happiness. I was struck by the fact that kids felt stressed and overly pushed to succeed at school and this was causing depression and unhappiness. Interestingly it appears that it might be the subtle signals we give our kids rather than the words we use which "tell" them what we expect.

I worry that I might be giving similar signals to Rachel that make her feel pressured, not because I have specific expectations for her, but because I try to encourage. Now I ask myself; am I getting the balance right?

For example; she has wanted to be a vet for years but has recently started saying she might be a zoo keeper instead. I tend to say that of course ate can be a vet if she wants; hoping to encourage her to use her potential as far as possible; but now I wonder if she's hearing that a zoo keeper isn't good enough?

I know better than to beat myself up, but I will try to pay more attention to the messages I'm giving her; after all I truly value happiness over success!

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