Michael Pearl: Happiness comes to those who accomplish something of worth to themselves, or to others. I want my children to be happy. I want my grandkids to be happy. Someone mentioned a while ago there's this family who is strong on discipline, but their kids are not happy. Please don't tell them you read my book. If you're strong on discipline then your kids are not happy because happiness is the end result. Now, I know how some of you pious religious folks say, "Well, it's about joy. You don't have to be happy. Happiness and joy are different. Happiness has to do with happenstance, joy has to do with down in your heart." Oh, get off of it.
Michael: That's Sunday school stuff, but listen. If you know God, and you're saved, and you have a productive, fruitful life, you're going to be joyful. You're going to be happy. I don't know any joyful people that are unhappy. Joy is not some abstract theological doctrine. It is something on that's on your face, in your lips, in the muscles of your body, when you're joyful. Everybody knows you're joyful.
So this, I've got the Lord deep down inside. Well if it's that deep, there's no joy in it. Joy bubbles on the surface. It's not a well that has to be dug and pumped out with a lot of power. It flows freely, sparkles in the sunlight if you've got God's joy, God's love. You'll be happy.
Some people try to make their kids humble. I never tried to make my kids humble. I never tried to be humble myself. I really don't have time for it. I don't know if I'd get as much done if I was humble.
So I just charge right ahead. Just get it done for God. If I get to heaven and don't get a reward for being humble, that's alright if I get a few more people saved, and win a few more knife contests. It doesn't matter to me.
Michael: I don't mind missing out on a little bit of humble reward. I just want to make a difference in people's lives. So, I never tried to humble my kids down. Their joys, the expressions, and their youthfulness. I just want them to have fun and love life. It's what I want for you, too. So we want to make our kids happy. How do we make them happy? It's not by positive affirmation, telling them how valuable they are. How much we love them, and how sweet they are. Oh, I'm worthless nobody likes me. Oh, everybody loves you.
No they don't. They don't like the kid. They don't like him for a reason. He's not very likable. He's a big old whine baby. He's a softy. He won't play with others. He won't participate. There's no give and take any. He's narrow minded. He's bigoted, whatever you see. Unless he's likeable, he's not going to like himself. If other people don't like you, you're not going to like yourself.
Now, I can be in a crowd of people that don't like me, and that doesn't bother me because I can go back to where people do like me. But if you have no place to go, where no one likes you, you're not going to like yourself. You're going to take that as a reflection of who you really are especially if you are a kid.
So, kids who are liked, kids who are admired by other kids are kids whom adults like to listen to, or smile at, and play with. Those kids like themselves, and they're happy. The way you make a kid happy is you take his hand. You lead him to do something worthwhile. You don't tell him it's worthwhile. You lead him to do something that is worthwhile.
When he evaluates himself and says, "Hey, I can do it." He's going to be happy. You say, like do what? Take him and let him throw knives.
I'll do that with kids that come by my house. I'll take them down there. I've got a whole building for knife throwing. I've got targets, knives, and axes, all kinds of screw drivers and putty knives. Things hanging all over the walls and shelves full of them. I have personally made over 300 knives, constructed over 300 knives.
I have them all there. I can throw them two at a time, both hands, one hand. Backwards, like this, any way you want to throw them. This way, that way.
Michael: I take a kid down there, kids love that. Their eyes get big. I've got primitive war like throwing axes, and all this weird looking stuff. You get a kid down there and let him throw four or five and he can't do it, and he can't do it. I don't ever let him quit until they can do it. I can teach any kid to throw. Eventually, that little old boy of five or six years old will stick a knife in a piece of wood. Boy, that's something now. I'll brag on him.
I'll say, "You're one of best learners." He'll stick another one. After a while, it won't take but 10 or 15 minutes, he'll be sticking four knives out of six in the block of wood. So then I get his parents down there and say, come down here I want you to see him. This boy's got real potential. They come down there and he throws those knives and sticks them in that block of wood. I brag on him and that kid likes me for the rest of his life.
Michael: He does, he just loves me after that. If nothing, he goes home feeling really good about himself. That's the way you make a kid happy. Bring me that water. You see how I didn't ask, I just command. See how quick she responds?
Michael: You can take a little girl who is complaining, and unhappy, and is a vacuum in the house. Take her in and say, "Let's cook. Let her make some cookies that the boys and daddy are going to like, and enjoy." She's going to feel great about herself. That fellowship is going to cause her to become addicted to the fellowship. She's going to become addicted to the good will. She's going to become addicted to the concept of serving for praise. She's going to turn in to Debi Pearl. She's going to become addicted to that, and that's what she's going to want out of life.
Kids will get in ruts. They'll get in ruts to where they're not accomplishing anything. They're not pleasing anyone. No one is happy with them. They're not happy with anyone. They make it a habit to protest everything that happens. They complain all the time.
Now, you don't spank that kid out of that rut. You don't rebuke them out of that rut. You lead them out in to some objective, outside of their experience. Participation in some activity whereby they succeed and become accomplished in something, anything. It can be clipping the hedges, and doing a good job. It can be running the lawn mower, it can be cooking.
You hand the four year old a screwdriver and say, the screws are loose in this door. Tighten those screws up. I know they get loose every week. So you have to tighten them every week.
The kid tightens those screws up and you can brag on him. He's going to be a mechanic. After that, he loves screwdrivers. He loves tools after that. Because that's where you get praise. That's where you feel good about yourself. That's where other people think good thoughts about you because you can take some tools and accomplish something.
The principles of child training here are not about breaking them to our will. It's about encouraging them to become creative participants in life, to become inventors of things, to become entrepreneurs even, but to launch out and be successful, to have ideas that they execute. These things are cultured and cultivated in children from the time they are very small.