Y for Your happiness

If your children are happy, you’re happy (and vice-versa)

So today we're talking about your happiness. So you as in you, the parent, your happiness. So I've heard it said that parents are as happy as the least happy child. And I think that is a great point and probably true. I think it also works the other way around. So, your child, a child is happy as their least happy parent. And so, our attitude really matters to kids, our mood matters. 

I see a lot of parents kind of talk to me about faking it till they make it. And so putting your brave face on. And the thing about that is that kids see straight through it and they won't tell you that but they'll see straight through it. So your happiness matters. And hopefully I'm doing a little bit to make you happier. That's what the purpose of these videos that I do are, hopefully to lift your spirits a bit. We're going through a tricky, still going, through a tricky time. Obviously it's easing with lockdown, but we're, you know, whatever three months on now, and yeah, there's lots of rumblings about what's going on. And I used to think- so the last big challenge that I think we faced as a country was the credit crunch back in 2007, 2008, which year it is. And when that happened well, that happened before I knew a lot of stuff that I know now. So I was worried. I was worried about what was going on in the outside world and how that was affecting me. And I was worried about the future. And I wasn't really quite myself. I was off. I was definitely off. I was worried about my business. And my mood definitely dropped. Because I didn't know what I know now. 

So most of us think - and I certainly used to - that we change through developing new skills and so we're always working on new skills, working on new strategies, we're working on new how to’s. People just say, give me the how to. But what actually really drives change, as I've seen it and as I've seen it in myself, and in the parents that I work with, and kids that I work with, that I've worked with in the past, is that change is driven by a new idea. Like one of those what people call an epiphany or an insight. So a new idea and epiphany and insight are all the same, just using different terminology. So sort of the same thing, so it's about what we know. And I used to think that the outside world, i.e. the credit crunch, and what was going on the economy, affected how I felt. And so I was at the mercy of the outside world.

And most of us think that most of the time, we are at the mercy of these circumstances. Our happiness is dependent on what's happening in the world. So let me give you a really trivial example about this. I talked about weather when I came on to do this video today. And so there's this idea, that societal idea that we should be happy because the sun is shining and that miserable weather - that there is such a thing as miserable weather - that when it's raining that we should be alone.

But let me ask you a question. Have you ever been worried in the rain? Or happy in the rain? Have you ever been unhappy in sunshine? Have you ever been unhappy in the sunshine? And I know have you ever been unhappy in the sunshine? And I know I have. So I've been on holiday, but my mind's been elsewhere. My mind has been elsewhere. So we say things like, it doesn't even bear thinking about because we know kind of intuitively that feelings are an inside job and they come from what's going on inside us. And yet, most of the time, we think that the outside world is determining our mood inside. 

 

So, pretty much the main focus of my work is helping you see, and your kids see the truth. That feelings come from thoughts and that's the only place they ever come from. So you are not at the mercy of the outside world, even COVID. See you tomorrow. Bye bye.

Simon Benn Children's Happiness Expert

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