As a new year begins, I can’t help but reflect on my precious kids and how terrified I am that I’ll screw them up. That led me to write down some of the many wishes and hopes I have for my children as they get older and learn to navigate life. I’ll use these wishes as a guideline to check in throughout the year so I can see how well I’m doing in trying to teach them what I hope they will learn. Here are 10 of those hopes I have for my kids, and I encourage you to write out your own list:
I hope you’ll see how hard I tried. When I yelled, I tried to apologize quickly. When I cursed, I tried to teach you to do as I say, not as I do. When I was sad, I tried to show you what real emotion was like and how to work through it. And when I failed, I tried to own up to it and be better for you.
I hope you’ll remember to watch for those kids who are sitting alone. Not just at school but anytime you’re out being social. I hope you’ll be confident enough to reach out and invite them into your circle, even if it’s not the popular choice.
I hope I can always protect you and I promise to always try. I hope you’ll never experience anything close to what could qualify you to write a #metoo post on social media. I hope you’ll remain untouched by hatred, sexism, and most importantly, abuse. I wish to protect you from anything bad that could happen behind closed doors by those that might be strangers, but especially from those we thought were loved ones.
I hope you’ll someday have your own children. I hope you’ll have the desire and will get that chance so your knowledge of love and sacrifice, of patience and excitement can grow so much more. And so one day, I can revel in the opportunity to finally say, “payback’s a b****!”
I hope you’ll remember that behind your computer screen are real people, with real feelings, just like you. Remember that aggression with words is just as bad as physical aggression and you’re better than that.
I hope you’ll be self-aware. Try to recognize how often you talk about yourself in a single conversation and don’t be stingy on the service you provide to others. I hope you’ll be willing to look outward, asking others about their life and interests and sincerely care about their responses. Practice empathy. Remember: nothing is more draining than a one-sided friendship.
I hope you’ll remember what I taught you about God and why you’re here in this time. And then I wish you’ll choose for yourself what you believe, knowing I’ll still love and accept you even if we disagree.
I hope you’ll learn to wipe your own butt. I know you’ll get there eventually, since you’re lucky enough to have a strong body with no ailments, but girl, I swear. You keep getting my hopes up, then reverting (out of spite?). It’s taking forever and I’m ready to be done doing that for you.
I hope you’ll remember to love yourself and never withhold forgiveness from yourself. You will make mistakes; it’s a fact of life. I just hope you’ll remember to go easy on yourself as you learn
I hope you’ll be ready and willing to use humor to diffuse stress. A well-timed joke, no matter how cheesy, can heal wonders! Don’t be afraid to be goofy and have fun with life.
What are some of the many hopes and wishes you have for your kids? Let’s write them out and work on them together, which will hopefully help us to be better parents as we prepare our kids for life after us.