I often cite the fact that the single most common sentiment I’ve heard from parents over the past 20 years goes something like this, “I just want my child to be happy and successful.” This idea drives all of my work. You see, to me, the value of an education is measured by how happy and successful our children feel. Too much of our “modern” approach to education actually gets in the way of this.
So I recently posed the following question to a Facebook group I like, “What is your GREATEST hope for your child?” Below, I list the responses, and it’s great to see that we are not alone – we all seem to want something similar for our kids.
The reason this is such an important reaffirmation for me is because it helps me know I’m on the right track. What would it be like if schools, rather than using standardized tests, grades and data to measure human potential, simply asked kids and families if they felt happy and successful? Then asked, “what exactly do you need to feel successful and happy?” What if educational programming was designed in response to these answers? What if that was our main focus?
In the quotes below, you will find many iterations of the same ideas. I counted some of them and I found that there were 45 iterations of “happy”, 30 mentions of “love”, 22 of “success”, 7 of “health”, 7 of “independence”, 6 of “respect”. Clearly, we know what we want for our kids.
Here’s the list:
Note: I removed the names and edited for spelling from the original fb post.
That they have complete happiness in life and their choices.
I want my son to always have happiness, self love, respect for himself and others around him.
To grow up to be a loving, accepting, and creative adult who follows his dreams and loves life.
Happiness success and love.
Happiness success and love.
Wish for him to be successful, happy, and confident!
To find love, to be happy to have children and be a great parent.
Great Health, Success, independence and be a self-loving efficient citizen to himself and his surroundings!!!
To live, love, and learn to her full potential. To stay this sweet, kind, and loving forever. To be the best she can be.
To be an independent, self loving adult that lives life to the fullest, fulfill all his dreams and to be a loving partner.
Find his niche.
To be happy and successful.
To be happy, to be a good men, to be successful in life.
Good health and much happiness.
Faith, love, and joy!
That he will learn how not to look at himself as a flaw or a failure. That he will see his value and be happy within.
I hope for my son to be confident, to be happy, to be successful.
to be successful to find happiness and to thrive at everything.
A secure foundation when life gets tough and seems hopeless.
Success and happiness to function in society as an adult and raise his own family!
I hope they succeed in all they aspire to do. Live happy and healthy and NEVER have to go through anything rough I ever did. I wish them the best as I provide.
To someday have: his own family, to be happy and succeed at whatever path he chooses for a career, that he always tries his best and knows we are always there for him.
My greatest hope for all my children is that they aspire to be what they dream of. To be better in the world than what I have. To be happy in all that they do in life.
To grow up to be a respectful happy adult with lots of love and fun in his life.
I want my son to have happiness, inner peace, self-worth & fulfillment in his life. Beyond that I just hope he has self-acceptance, is kind to & has empathy for others, & that he realizes he plays a major part in his own future. I also hope he makes good choices & learns from any bad choices he makes along the way.
To be happy. To be healthy. To be a productive part of society.
That she will be doing what makes her feel complete in a setting that feels like her own design.
That he will be happy, healthy and succeed in whatever his dreams and aspirations may be when he leaves school.
To be independent.
To be happy. To be successful. To be independent.
To be himself, happy, independent, fun to be around, and successful!
I dream that one day my son will understand why I do the things I do to make sure he has a good life for him… including discipline. I wish that he one day understands and appreciates what I have done for him to raise him right. And that like him I too am just human and am just as imperfect as he.
Right now to graduate from elementary school since now that I am aware of all of her academic needs.
There is no doubt in my mind that my son is destined to do amazing things in life. My only hope for him is Happiness…
Happy, healthy and one day be med free. That’s my wish for both my kids.
My greatest hopes are for him to be happy and successful. I want him to be able to be what he wants.
First I want him to know he’s loved unconditionally. Second, I want him happy, healthy and able to make good decisions on his own. Lastly, I want him to be able to adjust to daily changes that life throws at him without meltdowns.
To be happy. To be a functioning member of society. To be independent.
For my son, to be happy, to be an amazing person, and to live in Gods plan!!
To be well rounded respectful and productive adults.
To have both roots and wings. Never doubt who he is. Love deeply, laugh often, and live life to its fullest.
I hope my daughter will have a life where she is loved, and respected by others and have true friends. True friends that will accept her for the loving person she is, faults and all. I hope she finds happiness and fulfillment whether it’s at home or a career.
To keep the Magic alive inside of them.
To be happy!
To read at grade level by high school and complete high school and make a great career for himself.
To find ever lasting love.
To be happy and have successful relationships (including friends, boyfriends, spouse), and have a successful career.
Happiness. That’s all I need :0)
For both of my boys to be loving caring and passionate and forgiving husbands to their wives and outstanding fathers to their children rich or poor just be great men husbands fathers… but all that starts with me and their dad…
To always have dreams and goals. To always have enough and to truly love themselves and others.
To know, really know with their whole being, that they are loved unconditionally and that they are an incredible gift… To me and to the world.
To be her, who she is and be the happiest she can be!!
That she lives a successful life and she makes all her dreams come true.
To be happy in whatever he chooses in life. Plain and simple.
That she is has a happy life and finds a career that she loves.
I hope she grows up to be a responsible young woman who loves and is loved. I hope she makes a difference in this world as often as she can and I hope she finds happiness and fulfillment.
Love, life and happiness.
In the words of Dr Spock: “Live long and prosper”
Succeed, Love, Happy.
To be happy, to never settle, and never be afraid to say no.
To find his dream job, his dream partner and dream house.
To live the best life they can and to be happy!!!!
To be accepted for who he is and find happiness in whatever he desires.
To not have any low self-esteem from being labeled and pre-judged. To be smart and successful. To be happy from within for all of her years to come.
To be a successful in life. Love and treat others the way she wants to be treated. Always the make right decision in life, and last but not least, keep God first.
To believe in himself!
To be successful, To love himself, and to treat others with respect no matter what.
That she survives her upcoming teenage years without all the scary statistics they say ADHD kids typically present and grows up to be a respectable adult.
To be happy, to love.
I know he will be a great father and husband. I hope he is blessed by his children as I am. And I hope that he will find his place in this world, which will lead to all the happiness he deserves!!!
We are not alone. It seems to me that we’re pretty clear on what we want for our kids, and school should be supporting the development of these types of things. Rather than having curriculum be driven by massive impersonal ‘standards’ (designed by massive corporate companies who profit from our kids), it should be driven by a question like this: How can we use education to empower our kids to have happiness, success, love, independence, health and to follow their dreams?
What are your thoughts? What do you want for your kids? How can schools best support this? Feel free to comment or write me directly.