- Ask them if they’re happy!
- Ask them why they are or aren’t happy. Listen.
- Do something about it.
So on the drive here I asked my kids how happy they were – a mark out of 10.
Maryam gave a 7. Danyal and Sabeen gave 9s.
The kids love our cafe-hopping lifestyle. And some friends stayed over for an entire week last week.
So then I had a chat with Maryam to understand her fairly neutral score. She said her mathematics mark wasn’t improving and she felt she’s going to fail her Further Mathematics A-levels – that was her only big issue.
So I told her that it’s that very fear that will make her work, and I’m glad she has it. Not having fear, or some deep motivation, is the path to failure. When I was heading for a straight fail in my degree, the fear of failure turned it around. And it wasn’t a time in my life I enjoyed.
If she wants success, it will be on the back of struggle. Life is easy only for those who achieve little.
It’s great that she is well outside her comfort zone – that’s where she needs to be.
Also, if she’s not ready to take Further Mathematics next year, she can just do Mathematics. So the pressure is now off.
Anyway, she raised her happiness-mark from 7 to an 8. No higher because she’s still got one heck of a tough challenge ahead of her…