April 17, 2017
What do Parents Want?
Even before your children are born, parents are always thinking about “what’s best for my child?”. This is a very common question with a lot of different answers. As most parents know that every child is different and every child needs different things. So, let’s face it, parenting is one tough job. We have so many things to worry about daily and so many people in our ears and in our heads telling us a million different things… but the bottom line is what is the best thing for YOUR children and what do we want for them?
Now, let’s take this from a child’s perspective; most children are often in question, “what exactly is it that my parent wants from me? Is it just good grades and not to get into trouble? It is to go to college and have a good job? Is it to look after my younger brother and watch him? What is it?” Thinking about it from a child’s perspective is eye opening for sure. Both childhood and parenthood are two delicate and complicated positions that we all are part of at some point in our lives. So, take a look at what we have identified as the main things that parents want for their children.
- To Be Happy
For almost ALL parents this seems to be the number one priority for their children and especially from moms. Whether our children rise or fall, succeed or fail, we want them to be happy. We want to know that we’ve provided them with enough love, encouragement, positive attitude and praise that they know that we’ll be proud of them no matter what. We’ve provided them with the examples to learn from and mentored them along the way that they know what’s appropriate and what’s not. With this being said, let’s look at the next parental desire for their children…
- To make their own identities
This starts with the early milestones in a child’s life. When the parents can see, and understand the child’s development and how much time it takes for the child to grasp certain areas of growth, this is the first step in allowing them to identify where they are and how to treat and understand that child. As they see the child becoming capable enough to take on certain tasks, then it’s easier for the child to gain more trust and the parent to gain more understanding. Ironically, this is a lifelong process that can lead into the child’s path to college (if desired) or encouraging them with their chosen career path.
- To be their friends
Most kids don’t want to be their parents’ friends and it’s not appropriate for them to be their friends until they have reached a certain age and maturity in life; however, this is something that most parents desire. As children move more into the adult stages of life it’s encouraged for friendship to occur and it often turns out to be the most meaningful friendship that both child and parent have within their lives. Even children who weren’t close to their parents growing up can develop great friendships with them as children get older.
- To be successful
We have been taught from day one to be successful, from taking our first steps, to our first day of school, going on our first date, making the team, graduating, getting a job, etc. Success comes in many different forms and as parents we need to always be on the lookout to celebrate all the successes whether big or small. It’s important for our children to know that we’re proud of them no matter what, but also to encourage appropriate standards and expectations. This also shows your children that it’s appropriate to praise the parents and others for all their successes as well.
- To take on responsibilities
We all have responsibilities whether big or small and there’s only one way to learn how to do this and do this well. We must teach this! Taking on responsibilities is a taught process that will last a lifetime and can start at a very early age. As we said before, we want our children to be successful, so why not start early and start at the beginning! Children can learn responsibilities as early as age one as they’re in their learning process. Learning how to feed themselves is a responsibility and goes up from there. Doing chores, going to school, getting a job, cooking meals, not blaming others for our mistakes, even learning manners is a responsibility. Nothing makes a parent more proud than when they see their child becoming a successful, loving, independent individual who takes care of themselves and others!
As these are our top five things that parents want for their children, what are some additional thoughts that you have or things that you want for your children that were not mentioned? If you have any ideas, please contact Diana Bray at dbray@HEARTSforFamilies.org. Also, let us know if you give us permission to also post your entry in one of our upcoming weekly newsletters.
Happy parenting everyone!!