A Wish For All Children
By Lauren Colvin
1 September 2018
It’s so important that we get clear on what it is we’re trying to nurture and help our children to achieve in life. In doing so, instead of just wishing for these things, we can ensure that our actions match our intentions & support our children to succeed in all areas of their lives.
So what values, virtues, characteristics and life skills do you hope for your children to develop in life? Key things that help to create a happy and fulfilling future, within which authentic and successful relationships, passions and lifestyles are formed and nurtured.
I spend a lot of time thinking about this question. Here’s my list of hopes for all children and a brighter world.
Self-love and a deep sense of worth: Cherish each child for the unique individual that that are. Show them unconditional love & support, so that they develop self-love, feelings of worthiness and the belief “I am enough”. When children love themselves and feel a sense of connection, belonging and significance, they are able to thrive and show up for themselves even when others don’t.
Emotional awareness and fluency: Model to your children and encourage them to talk openly and honestly about their feelings, passions, struggles, joy, pain, love and dreams. Being aware of our feelings, practicing compassion towards ourselves and taking time to work through difficult emotions, is a crucial part of looking after our well-being. Being in touch with our feelings and able to articulate them honestly, cultivates deep and meaningful connections in life, the courage to reach out and ask for help when needed and the ability to practice empathy towards others.
Practicing kindness as a lifestyle: Thinking of others and doing what we can to help people around us, not only helps to create a better world, but is also scientifically proven to bring about lasting well-being. There is research to show that serving others helps to prevent or beat depression, by focussing on another person’s needs, as oppose to our own thoughts repeatedly whirling around in our minds. Modelling kindness to our children helps them to absorb the importance of it from the start and for this trait to become a natural component of who they are and the way they act. It doesn’t have to be huge things, just simply recognising and seeing the needs all around us, extending small gestures of kindness and using our capabilities to help in whichever way we can.
Embracing and using their gifts and creativity: Help your children to shine by knowing what lights them up inside. Prioritise, celebrate and nurture your children’s gifts, by embracing these things in their everyday life. Sharing our gifts with the world, expressing our creativity and engaging in things we love, is an essential component towards creating a sense of joy, purpose and meaning in life.
The courage to live authentically and not take life too seriously: One of the most magical things about childhood, is the ability children have to be fully in the moment without any inhibitions holding them back. When children want to dance, sing, laugh out loud or play, they do just that, carefree, without worrying about what others think and simply express themselves freely. They engage in all of these activities purely for enjoyment. To capture and preserve this beautiful and pure way of living would be a true blessing. As we get older we become more concerned by what others think, we often develop hang-ups, insecurities and feel too embarrassed to fully throw ourselves into these activities for fear of judgement. This often prevents us from expressing our creativity, feeling free and soaking up opportunities to feel joy. Modelling to your children, non-judgement, engaging in things without any purpose, other than to simply have fun, not being scared to look ‘silly’ in other people’s eyes and encouraging your children to not be afraid of living in this way, is a truly inspiring and contagious way to be.
Open, flexible and resilient minds that support self-esteem: Help children to develop the resilience to keep climbing in the direction of where they want to be. Sometimes it will be rocky and challenging, but the lessons they learn along the way will help them to grow. Developing a healthy relationship with mistakes & failures, will greatly support them on their path. The most successful people are said to fail the most, because they have the courage and drive to keep trying and remain focussed on their purpose. They see these events as opportunities to learn and move closer towards their goals through their next steps. Having high self-esteem, comes from a deep sense of worthiness and unconditionally liking who we are, by not attaching our value to outside experiences and instead being able to walk forward with our self-esteem intact.
Calmness: If children are brought up in an environment where calmness is modelled and they grow up practicing it, then it is more likely to become their default response when experiencing challenging situations. Help children to seek comfort in the knowledge that nothing lasts forever, hard times will pass. We are not our thoughts or feelings, these are all just experiences. Help them to understand the importance of practicing self-compassion and taking time to calm down when experiencing difficult emotions. This knowledge will help children to work through feelings more effectively and bounce back quicker.
Living joyfully and in the moment: Understanding that nothing is permanent and moments pass, will also nurture an appreciation and ability to relish in the blissful times. Being able to stop, fully embrace and feel gratitude for all the little things that bring us joy, ultimately supports mental and emotional well-being, and cultivates a joyful and happy existence.
Understanding and exercising the power of boundaries and choices: Helping children to understand the importance of setting healthy boundaries and to develop the ability to make well thought through decisions, aligned with their highest purpose and goals, are two of the greatest gifts we can give them. Model what boundaries are and include children when they are old enough in the process of choosing the parameters. Allow children opportunities to practice making choices and experiencing the outcomes. Show faith in their abilities, so that they develop the belief that they are capable and valued.
“Life is way too precious to spend it pretending to be cool and totally in control, when we could be laughing, singing and dancing.” Brene Brown
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