Parents often say that all they want is for their children to be happy and healthy. As parents, we do have quite a lot of say in our children's state of health, barring sickness, disease and accidents, of course.
We can be aware of their needs around a nutritious diet, fresh air and exercise, their sleep requirement, warmth, clothing and protection.
But how about what makes a happy child?
What about how they actually feel?
There is a great deal we as parents can do to help our children to acknowledge and express their feelings - to become a happy child.
Unless we, as parents and adults, are able to acknowledge and express our own feelings, whether happy or sad, we tend to have difficulty with our youngsters when they express theirs.
Our natural inclination is to parent as we were parented, and for a great many of us that means to help our children to 'manage' their feelings appropriately. By 'manage', we usually mean that we would like them to act in ways that don't embarrass us or them socially, or press too many of our own buttons emotionally.
I know parents who find their children's enthusiasm just as difficult to handle as their sadness, pain or anger. These parents have their own emotions under tight rein and are offended by overt displays of emotion, whether positive or negative.
Where are you up to when it comes to expressing your emotions?