Do you have a vision for your children’s future?
A few years ago, I read an article that said a parent’s goal should be to raise healthy 25-year-olds — emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically healthy. The article gives parents in the trenches a little breathing room and a lot of perspective. That tantrum you are dealing with today may give you just the teaching moment you need to make a little progress toward that healthy 25-year-old of the future.
The concept of raising a healthy young adult has stuck with me all these years because of its reality. The days of babies, toddlers and preschoolers are fleeting. The sibling-fighting, tantrums and whining will all be over someday (we hope). But, how we deal with those things now will have a lasting impact on the character of our children and who they become.
That is not to say we need to respond perfectly. I don’t respond even close to perfectly! But I do think it means I need to have a plan. I need to be intentional about training them and helping them learn and grow. I need to think through what I expose them to.
About a year ago, Carlos and I individually took the time to write what our goals are for our young adult children. We then condensed them into one list. I definitely need to be referring back to this list more often in my planning!
Here are the goals we have for our kids:
- To love God and desire to follow him.
- To have the skills to talk to and interact with people of all ages and walks of life.
- To have the confidence and ability to follow their dreams.
- To always search for truth and be open to the reality that God’s truth is bigger than our “truths.”
- To care about people, Creation and every interaction they have no matter how trivial it may seem.
- To be curious about life and be in wonder of both beauty and ugliness.
- To always have time for play, creativity, and adventure.
- To be able to think critically.
- To have healthy relationships.
I realize these can be ideals. My kids will not have perfect relationships; they will mess up; they will make bad choices. But these are the ideals to which I want them to strive. These are the goals I want to have in mind as I parent.
If one of my goals for the kids is to interact with people of all ages and walks of life, then I need to be intentional about exposing them to people of all ages and people who are different from us.
I am often caught up in the day-to-day caring for my kids that I can lose that long-term perspective. I want to somehow make our vision for the kids a part of the rhythms and learning of our days. I don’t have it all figured out. In fact, I probably don’t have any of it figured out. But these goals are just one little piece of figuring it out.
What about you? Do you have any goals for your kids? I would love to hear about them and how you attempt to make them a part of your life.