Little Boy Tells His Mom The One Thing She Can Do To Make Him Happier — And His Answer Is A Lesson For All Parents

One thing kids wish their parents would stop worrying about.

Mom hugs tween son, learning what would make him happier MyBoys via Shutterstock | Lala Lali & IgorKasnoselskyi via Canva

Every parent wants to know how to make their kid happy. But let's be real, it can get pretty confusing ... especially with tweens and teenage boys!

With all the resources available on how to best connect with your kids, it might start to feel overwhelming. 

So, what's the easiest and most foolproof way to better connect with your kids?

In an episode of the Open Relationships: Transforming Together podcast, host Andrea Miller sits down with her 11-year-old son Alexander Bhatnagar. In this interview, we hear straight from a tween boy's mouth exactly what he wishes his mom would do differently.


One Thing Children Wish Their Parents Would Stop Worrying About

The sweet mother and son discuss all sorts of topics on this podcast, but screen time and video games are the theme that comes up the most for Alex. He mentions them four different times, nodding toward wishing his mom would engage with him on video games and hinting that he would like fewer limits and controls around screen time in general. 


No doubt many parents can relate!

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"What are some things I worry about that aren't that deep?" 

"My screen time. You worry about that, and it is just not that deep," Alex responds. 

"I know there are trivial things that I shouldn't be worrying about, that I'm worrying about or that I'm harping on."

Alex admits, "I know you worry too much about my screen time." 

However, she's not the only one with this concern. Nowadays, many parents rely on technology to entertain and educate their kids.

Yet, some parents can admit that their children's use of technology is a bit concerning. 

RELATED: 6 Effective Ways To Raise A Happy Child 


According to Pew Research, "When asked about screen time in April 2021, a quarter of all parents of a young child said that their child spent too much time on a smartphone"

Moreover, 23% of parents admit their children spend too much time playing video games. While 1 in 10 admits to their children spending too much time on social media.

Understandably, this might lead many parents to consider limiting their children's video game time or taking away their tablets. And many parents may view technology as problematic altogether.

These parents wouldn't be entirely wrong in their way of thinking. Yes, too much screen time can be harmful, and like anything in life, there should be limits. 


But what if your greatest fear prevents you from better connecting with your child? Dr. John Duffy, a psychologist who has worked with adolescents and their families for decades warns parents not to let conflicts around screen time cause a rift in their relationship.  

"On the whole," Duffy writes in his book, Parenting the New Teen in the Age of Anxiety, "I find that social media is too often a primary source of conflict between parents and children."

The Best Way To Make Your Child Happier

Miller asks, "What can I start doing right now to make your life happier? And do not say Coca-Cola coming from the faucet."

They both laugh as Bhatnagar replies, "I feel like — hear me out this is gonna sound kind of dumb, but um I feel like you could start playing some of the same video games I play."

@yourtango Sometimes the things our kids want from us to make their lives happier are so simple. CEO and mom @Andrea Miller tackles 26 tough questions with her tween son on the latest episode of our ‘Open Relationships’ podcast, available now #minecraft #videogames #momsoftiktok #parenting #podcast ♬ original sound - YourTango

He adds that it'd be a lot of fun to play video games together.

"Okay, I can do that, though I'm not sure that you want me playing Fortnite or Madden with you," she laughed. 

But instead of teasing her about her gaming skills, as many tweens and teens might do, Alex replies, "I want you to play Minecraft with me." 


Miller admits, "Well then you can beat me because I'll be very very bad at it." 

When he offers to teach her, they both smile. It's clearly a meaningful moment. She heard his heartfelt wish, and he seems genuinely pleased.

RELATED: 5 Tiny Things Good Parents Do That Result In Happy Kids

 This is exactly what experts like Dr. Duffy suggest we do: join them in what they love, even if it's a video game. 

While it may seem minor, asking your child what would make them happier can give you insight into better connecting with them.

Understandably, this can go against your way of thinking. As parents, you were taught that to give your child a good life you needed to go out on expensive trips or buy them expensive clothes.


And sure, these things are great and can bring temporary happiness to your child's life.

However, don't forget that what your child needs the most is a genuine connection with their parent. They crave quality time with you and want you to be interested in the things they're interested in. 

This shows you're genuinely trying to connect with them and that you're there for them, ready to meet them halfway. 


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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.