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What makes your kids happy?

How happy are the young people in your life? The happiness of American youth (aged 13-24) was the focus of an MTV/Associate Press study. Let me recap some of the findings I found noteworthy.

1. General Happiness – 65 percent of respondents say they are happy with the way things are going in their lives in general and 62 percent think they will be happier in the future than they are now.

2. Parents, Family and Relationships – Parents are seen as an overwhelmingly positive influence in the lives of most young people. Remarkably, nearly half of respondents mention at least one of their parents as a hero.

3. Religion and Spirituality – 80 percent of those who say spirituality is the most important thing in life say they are happy with life in general, compared with 60 percent of those who say that spirituality is not an important part of life at all.

4. Fortune and Fame – 70 percent say they want to be rich – and nearly half think it’s at least somewhat likely they will be someday – but just 29 percent want to be famous. Only 17 percent think they will be famous.

5. Technology – And contrary to popular views of technology as a source of stress, many young people would be more stressed out without technology, with nearly half saying they never turn off their cell phones – even when they’re trying to chill out.

I see some of this in my own kids, particularly regarding technology. Instant messaging, texting and Facebook is their tech-enabled “hanging out”. The means have changed from “back in the day” but not the goal. Do I need to cut them some more slack?

Hey did you read that parents are still considered as heroes by their kids! Could it be we have more influence than we think, more than they might be willing to let on? For me that stat was a little boost to keep on speaking into the lives of my kids…they might secretly appreciate it.

What caught your attention?

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This blog is a place to wrestle with loving, leading and labouring according to the Jesus Way.


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