Educate your children to be happy

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JorgeSoñador

Senior Member
Spanish - Mexico
Hi everyone,
I would like to know the meaning of the sentence "Educate your children to be happy."
I wonder if one of the following meanings is correct.

1. Give the knowledge to your children so that they can be happy.
2. Give the knowledge to your children about how to be happy.

Also, I wonder if it is correct to interpret "educate" as "give the knowledge" or "teach".

In case you need more context, I took that sentence from a quote. Here is the full text.
"Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy, so they know the value of things, not the price."

Thanks in advance,
Jorge
 
  • reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    so that and about are both correct although so that would be preferred.

    However, "Give the knowledge to your children...." is not "natural". Good English doesn't allow such a construction even though every native speaker would understand what you're trying to say.
     

    JorgeSoñador

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Mexico
    If I rewrite both sentences using the verb "teach", now I have this.

    1. Teach your children so that they can be happy.
    2. Teach your children about how to be happy.

    I wonder if the use of about would be more accurate.

    Do the children have to be taught in any way? Only be taught so that they can be happy. Or do the children have to be taught in one specific way focusing on how to be happy? So they have to learn the things that will make them happy.
     
    Last edited:

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    1. Teach your children so that they can be happy.
    2. Teach your children about how to be happy.

    Now they both mean different things. #1 now means: It is teaching that makes the children happy (not what you teach them). This is kind of a "nonsense" meaning (I'm sure you agree).

    #2 now means: Teach your children subjects that deal with "how to be happy".....like "How going to church every day will make you happier"....or "How running 5 miles at 6 am every day will increase your overall happiness" and so on.
     

    JorgeSoñador

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Mexico
    #2 now means: Teach your children subjects that deal with "how to be happy".....like "How going to church every day will make you happier"....or "How running 5 miles at 6 am every day will increase your overall happiness" and so on.
    Is that the intended meaning in the sentence "Educate your children to be happy"?
     

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Is that the intended meaning in the sentence "Educate your children to be happy"?
    Yes, I think that's what it means......give the children instruction on "how" to be happy.

    Just for the sake of completeness, there's another "meaning" to the phrase: "Educate your children to be happy"
    This means: If you yourself want to be happy, educate your children.


    Context would determine which meaning is meant.
     

    Steven David

    Senior Member
    English
    Hi everyone,
    I would like to know the meaning of the sentence "Educate your children to be happy."
    I wonder if one of the following meanings is correct.

    1. Give the knowledge to your children so that they can be happy.
    2. Give the knowledge to your children about how to be happy.

    Also, I wonder if it is correct to interpret "educate" as "give the knowledge" or "teach".

    In case you need more context, I took that sentence from a quote. Here is the full text.
    "Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy, so they know the value of things, not the price."

    Thanks in advance,
    Jorge

    I would view this sentence in a more holistic manner. And I would say this refers to the way in which you raise your children. So this takes into account everything such as, for example, the things you say to them when you spend time with them, the manner in which you instill values in them, and how you contribute to their understanding of the world around them. And then if parents are successful in doing all this, children will grow up to be happy.

    It is possible to paraphrase this sentence in ways that you've already done. Those interpretations are fine if we're talking about the literal semantic interpretation of this sentence. So, in this way, we can say that you are correct.

    However, as I said, I would view the meaning of the sentence in a more holistic manner. Getting caught up in the meaning of the words, in this particular case, really just turns out to be a trap. It can go either way in speaking of your suggested paraphrases.

    In the final analysis, I will say that the writer is conveying a worldview or philosophy with this sentence.

    Anyway, that's how I see it.
     
    Last edited:

    JorgeSoñador

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Mexico
    Steven David, what you said makes perfect sense. The writer is conveying a worldview or philosophy with that sentence. And the meaning has to do with raising children and everything related to it. Your explanation helped a lot. Thanks a lot.
     
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