Our Kids Just Want to Be Happy: How My Daughter Taught Me This Lesson by Roma Khetarpal
Kids are crystal clear about what they want most out of life. When my daughter, Nitasha, was 5 years old, she participated in the Miss L.A. India Beauty Pageant halftime show. Ten children were to be asked the following questions:
- What is your name?
- How old are you?
- Where do you live?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
Nitasha had already told us at 4 that she wanted to be a “kids’ doctor” when she grew up. When it was her turn to answer the questions, she said, “My name is Nitasha Khetarpal, and I’m 5 years old. I live in L.A. and when I grow up, I want to be an ice cream girl at Disneyland!”
The entire room went in an uproar. Later, I asked her, “What made you change your mind from wanting to be a pediatrician?”
“When we were at Disneyland yesterday, I saw the face of the ice cream girl, and she looked sooo happy ... like me. Then I thought of Dr. N (her pediatrician) and remembered how she is always worried about sick kids. When I grow up, I want to be happy like the ice cream girl."
As our kids get older, it is our responsibility as parents to preserve our kids’ innate desire to be happy without pushing too far our expectations upon them.