There are Seven Gateways to Happiness that we all need to walk through, in fact, we must walk through them again and again to attain true happiness. Why? Because although each is different, they all hang together. We can”t be complete without success in all seven. I”ve talked at great length about how as women, we best walk through these Gateways. In fact, you can download for free, off of the front page of www.enchantedself.com a paper that will take you through the Seven Gateways to Happiness. But what if you are a girl? Is it exactly the same? No it is not. Kids are different from grown-ups and so is the journey to happiness. Are parents essential in helping their kids walk through the Seven Gateways to Happiness? You bet! You are critical. So let”s take a look.
The first Gateway to Happiness is Recognizing the Best in Ourselves. Having good self-esteem is another way to put it. How can we help our kids recognize the best in themselves? Certainly not by criticizing them, nor putting them down, nor by talking about embarrassing things in front of other people. Certianly not by showing disappointment in their achievements, or evaluating them in comparison to other siblings or friends. To help kids, and in particular, girls, get through the first Gateway to Happiness we need to encourage their talents, their strengths, their coping skills and their potential. Sounds easy? Sometimes it is. But sometimes it is hard. What I would like to see as a strength in my child, may be what she is weak at.
So we need to learn how to discuss and communicate effectively with our daughters. For instance, I would like my daughther to be social and comfortable with people. She may be instead somewhat of a loner, who”s strength is a feel for nature and all that is in it. She collects rocks, she feeds birds, she studies spider”s webs. Bottom line is she is different from my expectations. Most kids are. But the responsibility of a parent is to love and develop your child to the best of her abilities anyway. So to the best of my abilities I need to let her know that I treasure and value her strengths and yes, that I am also very proud of her when she combines those strengths in ways that develop her weaker side-in this case, her social side. I”m proud because I love her, I respect her differences and yet as a parent I know it will be better for her if she develops many facets of her personality.
When you read, The Truth (I”m a girl, I”m smart and I know everything) you may begin to recognize how I have woven the Seven Gateways to Happiness into the story. Of course, as even the “girl” in the book needs to walk through all seven to achieve happiness. Next time we will look at the Second Gateway to Happiness: Falling in Love With Ourselves.