Before they were even born, I started dreaming about my children: What would they look like? What personalities would they have? What talents would they have? Who would they grow up to be? Now that they are in preschool and elementary school, and growing way too fast, my dreams for them continue to grow.
These are just a few of the things I wish for them:
1. Have a strong faith.
My number one wish for my children is that they will have a strong lifelong faith that will be the foundation for their lives. I want them to know what they believe and why, and to look to faith to make life’s decisions. I hope they will turn to God in all of life’s seasons — whether good or bad — and that they will put Him first.
2. Be generous.
Instead of always looking for what they can take, I wish for my children to be givers. I hope they will be generous with their time, resources, and talents, and look for ways to serve and help those in need. Not only do I hope they will be willing to give, but that they be enthusiastic about giving.
3. Ask questions and never stop learning.
Anyone with a toddler or preschooler knows the questions never stop. And of course, every answer is followed up with, “Why?” leading to more explanations. I wish my children will continue to ask questions, and that their quest for knowledge will always continue. I hope they will learn something new every day for the rest of their lives.
4. Find a passion.
When I was a little girl, I loved to dance. If there was music, I danced. If I wasn’t dancing, I was thinking about dancing, watching dance, or choreographing dances in my head. Although now my dancing usually consists of living room parties with my kids or group fitness classes, it was (and is) a passion that I never outgrew. I wholeheartedly wish for my children to find their passion. It may be art, music, writing, dance, science, sports, or anything, but I want them to find something that brings them joy, something they love, and something they can work hard doing.
5. Work hard.
I tell my children that I am always proud of them when they do their best. More than focusing just the outcome, I hope they focus on working hard at whatever they do. As they grow up, I don’t expect perfection, but I do expect them to strive for excellence and their personal best. I hope they will build a strong work ethic that can help them throughout their lives.
6. Do the right thing, even when it’s hard.
There are plenty of opportunities to go along with the crowd and to follow along with whatever is popular, even when it’s not right. I wish for my children to choose the right thing, even if it’s hard. I hope they will stand up for their convictions, resist peer pressure, and make good decisions, even if it means standing alone sometimes.
7. Learn to lose gracefully.
One baseball season, my son’s team was undefeated, which was wonderful! The boys played hard, and the parents were so proud. But at one point, my son got so used to winning that he almost expected it. Of course, when it was time for the next sport, his team didn’t win every game, and he was disappointed. But, there was a lesson to be learned. We all lose sometimes. And when my children don’t win, I wish for them to lose gracefully. I hope each loss they experience will teach them something, build their character, and help them appreciate the wins.
8. Be yourself. Don’t compare.
Despite my wishes, hopes, and dreams for my children, I know they are special and unique individuals who have a purpose for their lives. My wish is that they embrace their skills and talents instead of comparing themselves to others. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of comparison. I hope they will avoid it.
Yes, I want my children to be healthy, happy, intelligent, talented, attractive, successful, and all the wonderful things. They are my precious babies! I want them to realize every ounce of potential they have and lead amazing lives. But, ultimately my job as a parent is to instill values in them that will guide them as they find their own path. I can offer guidance and support, but I can’t do it for them — I can only equip them to do things for themselves.