What is your hope for your kids?
When you think of your child’s future, what do you hope for? I think many parents have great dreams for their children. Remember the Ben Franklin quote, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Is that the making of a successful person? It could be, for some.
Perhaps you dream of your child being a doctor, or a lawyer. Maybe a police officer or missionary is more along your thought process. It could be you want your child to graduate college and have a wonderful career. You might hope that you daughter is a terrific wife and mother. The point is, we all want different things for our children.
How do we get our children to want the same things we want? Should we get our children to want for themselves what we want for them? I suppose there are two ways of thinking on this. Set the expectation high and help your child to get there, or let you child find their own desires and their own way. I will be bold and say that it’s probably a balance of the two.
Certainly, you can encourage your child in the direction of your dreams. If your dream becomes their dream – yea for you. However, if your dream is not their dream, you may need to re-evaluate. How many teens rebel, or break, under the pressure being applied by their parents? Is your hope for their future worth ruining your relationship with your child? Some of you may say, “Yes, as long as they are successful, they’ll thank me some day.” If you’re lucky, that may work out for you, but are you willing to take that chance? I know too many families that do not communicate with each other because of unresolved friction from the past.
Do I hope my children are successful? Sure. Responsible? Sure. Honest and trustworthy? Yup. But when push comes to shove, what I pray for my children is to be “happy and healthy.”
“Happy” could encompass many different things, and what makes one person happy may not be what makes another person happy. “Healthy”, well there’s not a lot of wiggle room there. We should have a goal that all children be “healthy.”
Take some time to really think about what your hopes are for your kids. You may even want to talk with them about their hopes for themselves. Be open and listen. What a great conversation that could be!
*Pam Horton is a Certified Christian Stress Management Coach in the Raleigh/Durham area.*