Parenting for Holiness not Happiness

A recent headline in the New York Times Magazine caught my attention. It reads, “Dr. Becky Doesn’t Think the Goal of Parenting Is to Make Your Kid Happy.” The article features an interview with clinical psychologist Becky Kennedy. The highly popular parenting advisor has built a following as she gives advice in our day and age of helicopter parenting, along with raising kids in the social media fueled world of competitive parenting. I would agree that our parenting insecurities fuel a style of destructive parenting that is marked by constantly running interference for our kids along with posting their accomplishments on social media. From a Christian perspective, we fail our children when our parenting trajectory is to lead our kids to happiness. This goal fuels self-centered narcissism and entitlement. Parents, our goal should not be to make our children happy. Our goal should be to prepare them for life in a difficult world, living to the glory of God, as they pursue holiness, not happiness.