Which Is More Important? Happiness or Achievement

           As we enter the new year, it is a good time for reflection.  As parents, we should think about what we are doing well and what things we should change.  Raising children is not easy and requires work and constant adjustment.  We want our kids to be happy.  We also want our kids to be successful and achieve great things.  My question to parents in the new year is…..Which is more important — Happiness or Achievement?  I say HAPPINESS!
         Christine Carter, a sociologist from the University of California, says, “When our children are happy and their brains are filled with positive emotions like enagagement, confidence, and gratitude, they are more likely to be successful and fulfill their potential.” It seems the underlying American assumption is, if our kids get into a great college, they’ll get a great job, then they’ll be happy.  This is backwards.  It should be happiness first, then achievement.  In every corner of our great country, parents are pushing their children to do more, learn more, and get a “leg up.”  I believe as a result, children are robbed of their childhood and have more stress and anxiety.  Instead of over scheduling our children which most certainly will cause unhappiness, let’s slow down a little.  Let’s reflect on what makes our kids happiest and make some changes before it’s too late.
        Carter also reported, “studies are finding that achievement does not necessarily lead to happiness, but that happiness is what fosters achievement. She points to an analysis of 225 studies on achievement, success and happiness by three psychologists that found that happy people are more likely to have fulfilling marriages and relationships, high incomes, superior work performance, community involvement, robust health, and a long life.
       Please vote and I will share the results!

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