What is Happiness?

Each Wednesday a mom’s group meets at my church for fellowship and encouragement in marriage, parenting, and Christianity in general. Years ago, before homeschooling, you’d find me there each Wednesday.

A week ago, while helping cook ahead for camp, I sat in on their first meeting of the schoolyear. Michael Pearl’s dvd on “Teaching Responsibility” was chosen as first up for our viewing enjoyment, and it looked so good that I decided I would try to make all the September meetings and get this little gem watched with them! Am I glad I did.

He’s a quite funny character, Michael Pearl, and I’m not referring to his bushy white beard. His sense of humor slips in when you least expect it, and he’s gifted with a directness that makes your head spin.

Here’s what I took away this first session, his words paraphrased by my faulty memory…get the dvd if you want precise!

He said he wants kids to be happy, and most parents think that a happy kid is one that gets their way all the time. To this thought, he shook his head and began telling us what made him and his wife happy. Think about yourself, what makes you happy? Being productive and having something to show for it. What do you do when friends come over? Mr. Pearl takes visiting children out and gives them a knife throwing lesson, or down to his greenhouse to see the biggest broccoli. His wife Debi, author of the wonderful book Created to Be His Helpmeet, shows them her full canning jars or the armoire she recently refinished with her husband.

It makes us happy to share what enthuses us with the ones that come into our lives. When my parents come each week, I have fun showing them what I’ve been up to that week. I like to make something special for us to eat, and my girls take them to look at their latest crafting project, or to read the latest song 9 yo wrote…

So our intro into the “Teaching Responsibility” dvd was a simple lesson on happiness.

What makes you happy? What about your children?

11 thoughts on “What is Happiness?”

  1. Me: Being creative. Being busy. Helping others.

    Brandon: cooking, reading, movies. Allison: puppy, Evie and talking about boys, eak!!

  2. I do feel best when I’m being productive. I love to follow up a compliment “with thank you I made it.”

    Olivia also is happiest when she is productive. Even at 18 months Old she seems to be happiest helping me in the kitchen. Even though it means starting supper twenty min earlier. If it is complicated though at times I have to run her out so I can get things all finished up at the same time.

  3. Well what would really make me happy is a CHAT with you..not necessarily Pearl-style productivity but hey, I have my moments.
    But otherwise, I have no greater joy than to know my children are walking in truth…wonder where I got that?!? And to do that, I do have to stay on top of things, spiritually, educationally, housekeeping, etc so we can focus on God’s goodness.

  4. It would make me happy if no one ever bought or read anything written by those deranged Pearls. They are child abusers pure and simple and they ought to be in prison. I hope G-d reserves a special corner of hell just for them.

  5. Linda, I know many people who feel that way, and I’m sorry you do. As with everything, we parents have to take advice and filter it through God’s word. Do you feel the same way about King Solomon and the people who told him in his youth not to spare the rod because it would spoil the child?

    You’re welcome to share your thoughts and feelings here, I have nothing against controversy and exploring what works and doesn’t work, but attacking the Pearls here at my blog is the same as attacking me. I highly respect them and their heart for children and parents. And we’re all entitled to our own opinions. Your opinion really does matter to me, and it sounds as though you have a lot of hurt behind what you’ve shared. Perhaps you’d recommend someone/something else?

    Love,
    Mary

  6. I’d recommend dr. sears and his various works. i think it’s sad that anyone would be proud to believe like the Pearls. has anyone ever called CPS on you? Did you start abusing your children with switches while they were still infants? It’s just so ugly and sad.

    i would never treat a child like that. i want my children to grow up to be good and moral people. not people who abuse the weak.

    king solomon is not offered up as an example of a good and righteous parent. ask yourself this: how did his kids turn out?

  7. Sorry this comment fell through the cracks when I was addressing your others. No, I didn’t use switches on my infants. I’ll be looking into the Pearl’s No Greater Joy books though, and see what you’re referring to. As I’ve said before, I don’t do every single thing “by the book”, I tweak it here and there and sometimes by the book works great. My kids aren’t little zombie-automatons afraid to look crosswise at me. Thank God!

    :)

  8. it’s *to train up a child* that has the icky infant switching in it. oh, and a lot of bits about setting up opportunites for your children to defy you just so you can punish with the switch. it’s available online and just really disturbing. at least to me. i hate that attitude that every little thing is defiance. some things just are what they are, and goodness knows there are ample opportunites for children to learn without manufacturing events just to get to switch them.

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