Parenting Improv: Why happiness for children is such a high bar for parents

Producing happy children is an overriding goal for many parents today. However, in a rapidly changing world where norms and expectations are constantly changing such a goal can be difficult to attain. In this TED TALK video best-selling author and New York Magazine contributing editor Jennifer Senior presents a thought-provoking discussion on why our children’s happiness may be an unrealistic goal for parent’s to pursue. Drawing on themes discussed her popular book, All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, Senior discusses some of the social and economic changes that make parenting today challenging and confusing and contribute to changes in the role that children play in the lives of parents. She concludes by suggesting that more realistic parenting goals might focus on helping our children become capable, moral and productive and “that happiness will come to them by virtue of the good that they do and their accomplishments and the love that they feel from us.”