Balancing happiness and responsibility

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Balancing happiness and responsibility

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As parents, we all want our children to be happy. But happy shouldn't be the goal; it should be the byproduct. And part of a joyful, productive life is learning to live up to responsibility, tackle things that are difficult, do things that you don't want to do. So it's important for parents not to just say, "Well, I want you to be happy," but to say, "Are you living up to your responsibilities? Are you doing what you're supposed to do?Are you tackling those things that you need to tackle in order to get better at them?" And really, a lot of what we parents have to do is kind of enforce unhappiness, periods of frustration, periods of not getting what you want, periods of delaying gratification, periods of complaining and saying, "Life is so unfair." You say, "Yes it is, but talk to God about that. Meanwhile, go make your bed. Meanwhile, go do your homework. Meanwhile, do what I told you to do." You have to do that or you'll create a spoiled, entitled child, and that is no way to go into life.

View Edward Hallowell, MD, EdD's video on Balancing happiness and responsibility...

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Edward Hallowell, MD, EdD

Psychiatrist, ADHD Specialist, & Author

Edward (Ned) Hallowell, MD, EdD is a Harvard-trained Child and Adult Psychiatrist in practice in Sudbury, MA (outside Boston) and New York City. The author of 18 books, Dr. Hallowell specializes in learning differences such as ADHD and dyslexia, both of which he has himself.  He has also written extensively on general issues of parenting and living in our modern age. He lives in the Boston area with his wife of 23 years, Sue, and their three children, Lucy, Jack, and Tucker.

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