A respected psychiatrist said to me " The goal of psychiatrists in treating patients of any age is happiness."
Maybe that takes a minute or so to absorb! Then, it seems obvious! Happiness is mental healthiness.
Unhappiness is what causes people to go to counseling. In the amazing wonderful job of parenting, remembering happiness as a goal for the child helps everything else fall into place. Some believe it even matters while the baby is still in the womb. Parents should surely want a child who is happy at age two days old, two months old, twelve years old, twenty years old, and seventy years old. And if all parents remembered that as a goal, oh wow!
If every parent was kind and honest and open with every child, making that child happy with life itself, just imagine what we would have. We would have a world with fewer insecure, unhappy people and we would have less strife and more peacefulness because happy people tend to be caring about others. Unhappy, confused, insecure people often want to hurt others, physically and emotionally. Criminals are not happy. That is not an opinion, but a fact. Many are trying to analyze the reason for recently publicized mass murders. Usually, after the murderer has been identified, we are told that he had mental problems. Yes, we knew that.
Overall, happiness is a worthy goal that can be spread easily through parenting. Later counseling, to try to undue what was done to the child, need not be necessary. Also it sometimes does not work as well as getting it right in the formative years.of the child's life. As more parents remember to be always kind instead of ever mean to the child and as more parents remember that the primary influence on the child is the parent...not the internet, not the school, not the friends....then oh wow, happiness will come to the child and also to the parent.