How much should parents push their child to find happiness?

Pushy parents believe success will bring their children happiness

WHAT do we actually mean when we say we just want our children to be happy?

Do we really mean high achieving but happy?

There's that unwritten rule that says we just want our kids to enjoy their lives and not to worry about monetary success or personal achievement. But deep down, is this true?

One person to come out publicly and say what he thinks about the whole 'happiness verses success' debate is former heavyweight boxing champ David Haye.

The father-of-one, who even named his son Cassius after legendary boxer Muhammed Ali whose original name was Cassius Clay, has defended the 'pushy parents' approach.

Following in his own father's footsteps, Haye has been pushing his own son to sporting success, just as he was steered into the boxing ring.

Haye wants his only child to become a professional tennis player with the boy competing since he was four.

The WBA heavyweight champion admitted he told his eight-year-old son he needed to "practise more" instead of crying after he came second in the hurdles race at a school sports day.

"It was really heart-warming to see how distraught he was," he said.

"He won every other race, every other heat and he just clipped the top of the hurdle and he came second out of his whole class, but he considered the whole sports day to be ruined because he didn’t win every single thing."

The sports star said while he had consoled his son following his so-called 'defeat', he then told him that "maybe if you practised more then maybe you wouldn’t have clipped it".

He's not the only one to hit the headlines lately for pushing their child to success.

The mother of a west London schoolgirl who was competing to win the title of Child Genius 2016, demonstrated she was no pushover.

Rhea, who is 10, was taking part in the Channel 4 programme earlier this month when her mega competitive mum Sonal stepped in during the competition and showed she wasn't afraid to win a title herself - of 'pushiest parent'.

She objected to the answer in one of the questions and in turn saw her daughter win a point over a rival.

Sonal, who has put her career on hold as an obstetrician to focus on her daughter's education, successfully claimed a question on Florence Nightingale was too general.

The extra point meant that fellow finalist Stephen (12) who had been on the same total, lost his place with Rhea then going onto the final which she later won.

Mum Sonal came under fire though for being too pushy with her attitude shocking viewers who said the young girl should have been able to compete based on her intellectual capability rather than her mum's intervention.

So what is the right approach to take?

Many of us connect happiness with the notions of success and achievement, we often equate achieving specific milestones of success with making us happy.

We want our children to be happy and for it to come through a good education and a well-paid career. But if we try to get our children to realise their individual potential, then we are accused of being pushy parents.

There’s no shame in having ambitions for our children. Aspirational parents simply want the best for their children, and are equally attuned to their abilities and their weaknesses.

But pushy parents are quite the opposite - their ambitions arise out of pure vanity, because it’s all about them.

They believe the performance of their offspring directly reflects on them. Many want their children to be happy, but by fulfilling their potential through their parents' vision of happiness.

If we had to choose between happiness and achievement for our children, would happiness win out?

The mistake is in assuming that success or achievement alone will bring happiness.

But the truth is happiness can create success.

Encourage your child to be their best, by all means. But don’t push them over the edge.



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Normal Irish News Rules Apply

Competition winners:

The winner of the Mourne Seafood Bar cookery school prize is Margaret Stephens, Belfast and the five runner-up prizes for the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival go to Paul Hewitt, Richhill, Thomas Duffy, Portstewart, Immacula McBride, Belfast, Siuan Cullen, Belfast, Sarah Morris, Saintfield.


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Easy Peasy Recipe

This week's Easy Peasy Recipe is Roast Lamb with Garlic and Herbs.

You will need:

1 (2.25kg) leg of lamb

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

3 teaspoons dried dill

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

To make:

Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas 3.

Puncture the leg of lamb with the tip of a knife just far enough to insert garlic slices into the holes.

Mix together the dill, salt and rosemary and rub over the leg of lamb.

Place the lamb, fatty side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting tin.

Roast uncovered for 2 to 2 1/2 hours in the preheated oven, to an internal temperature of 68 degrees C for medium.

Tent with foil and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

The lamb will continue to cook a little bit and the juices will set up better for carving.

Do you have an Easy Peasy recipe you would like to share?

Are you the queen of quiches, magnificent at muffins or can you turn out some nice scones?

If so, then we want to hear from you.

You can send your name, address, contact number and recipe (plus photo if possible) to:

Easy Peasy Recipes,

Suzanne McGonagle,

Irish News

113-117 Donegall Street,





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