I had a conversation the other day with some friends. Now that our children are entering their high school and college years, our dreams for them are becoming a reality. So when someone asked me, "What is your biggest fear for your kids?" I couldn't wrap my arms around the idea of fear. I'd rather focus on my biggest hopes instead. However, to satisfy the question, I guess the inverse of my hopes would be my biggest fears.
What are my biggest hopes for my children?
- Follow their passion. My responsibility as a parent is to help my children discover and fuel their passion. It has been my duty to observe what they excel in, and I don't mean playing video games or bullying their little sister. It is that quiet observation watching them get lost in an activity because they revel in the sheer joy of it. It is about feeding their soul because each child has a gift they were born to share with the world.
- Listen to their gut. Whenever my children have a decision to make, I have taught them to listen to their gut. My hope is that they never forget to listen to that gut instinct. Even if I'm not physically with them, as long as they listen to their gut that means I'm still with them in some small way.
- Be authentic. It is especially tough not to have your children be conformists, especially in the chameleon middle school years. But with persistence and through perseverance, I have seen the gems of my eldest daughter's authenticity shine. While her stubbornness is a source of great frustration at times, it has merit by enabling her to hold fast to her true self. The proof is in her power to attract sincere friends, love, jobs and happiness.
- Laugh a lot. My husband and I were attracted to each other in large part because we share the same sense of humor. Even after close to 22 years of marriage, he still makes me laugh so hard my stomach hurts more than doing 50 crunches. Laughter acts as a healing agent when times are tough. I hope my children never lose the power of laughter.
Take a Leap. In my own way, I have shown my kids first hand that it's never too late to take a leap of faith. I quit my high-paying corporate job to change it up and do what I love in my second act. They have seen how much I love what I do, and I hope they learn that taking chances and taking a leap of faith is part of a life well lived.
- True Love. My biggest hope for my children is that they find true love. By holding their hand when they were younger and then letting go when the time was right, I believe I have shown them what that feels like. I hope that some day they will repeat these steps with their own children.
Once you become a parent, you will never see things quite the same, nor will you ever love so deeply with all your heart. What are your biggest hopes for your children?Tina Case is a Yahoo Shine Parenting Guru. When she's not writing here she can be found on her own blogs Moms Who Click and Parent Grapevine. She is also an established photographer in the San Francisco-Bay area. Find her at Tina Case Photography and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.