“One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.”
It’s a bit of a mouthful, this quote. What Maria Montessori is saying is happiness is the best measure. For teachers, happiness is the best measure for curriculum and teaching style.
I ran across this quote because for Women’s History Month Sleepytime Club has been posting a quote a day from notable women on Instagram. You can see the threads of wisdom on Sleepytime Club’s Instagram feed here.
Happiness is the measure for success in school and in life. Happiness – everyone’s happiness – is the measure of how well you’re doing as a parent.
Don’t you feel free knowing that it all comes down to happiness? I mean who wouldn’t want to pursue happiness?
So how do we define happiness? Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert, in his book Stumbling on Happiness, defines happiness as enjoying frequent, positive feelings and having an overall sense that one’s life has meaning.
There is a range of books on happiness out there. Some are just…happy reads! Like Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss. Weiner – a self-professed grump travels to countries ranked according to happiness.
Yes, happiness. Not Gross National Product, or test scores, or scientists or movie stars or American Idol winners per capita. It’s happiness that matters, according to sites like Happy Planet Index.
In my Internet pursuit of happiness, I came upon Yes! Magazine’s anthology Sustainable Happiness: Live Simply, Live Well, Make a Difference. Frances Moore Lappe’s testimonial quote:
I love this beautiful compilation of voices reminding us that happiness isn’t something we “find.” It’s what we become as we align our lives with thriving community and life-giving earth.
Community, life with a purpose, connection = happiness.
What do the researchers say about happiness? Here’s Daniel Gilbert again:
If I wanted to predict your happiness, and I could know only one thing about you, I wouldn’t want to know your gender, religion, health, or income. I’d want to know about your social network – about your friends and family and the strength of the bonds with them.
Happiness and its pursuit are not mysteries. They are measurable.
I did another pursuit of happiness, this time associated with “sleep”. It didn’t surprise me – and I’m certain it won’t surprise you – sleep and happiness are strongly linked. Here’s just one article on that topic from the American Psychological Association.
All this resonated with me because sleep specialist Dr. Robert Rosenberg sums up the happiness and sleep equation at the end of his interview from 2015’s Back to School Bedtime Summit. To paraphrase Dr. Rosenberg…
Children and families educated about sleep hygiene sleep better, sleep longer, do better in school, and are happier people.
And as part of the happiness equation, Dr. Rosenberg’s voice joins the legions of experts that say “UNPLUG!” And when you unplug, you look around to see your family and community….
Which makes for happier people!
To download Dr. Rosenberg’s interview, fill in the form below. It’s less than 30 minutes and will help you prioritize sleep…and happiness…into your family life.