What Do I Want for My Child?
How many times have you heard, “I want my child to be a doctor”? This is often followed by, in no particular order, teacher, lawyer, carpenter, scientist, entrepreneur, plumber, president, athlete, actor, journalist, engineer, architect, or comedian. Then there is this statement, made by parents who imagine themselves to be less controlling: “I just want him to be happy doing what he loves.” What if what he loves is something you hate?
“I never wanted this for you, Michael. I wanted youto be Senator Corleone or President Corleone.”
~ Marlon Brando, The Godfather, Part One ~
Do not waste your time and energy thinking about careers, occupations, wealth, or prestige. Even in the best of circumstances, you may have little control over the final decision your child makes about a career or a direction in life. Remember; set the table or be the gardener.
Expend your time and energy on your commitment and dedication to being the best parent you can be, while guiding your child along the path of lifelong learning. Wear a hard hat. You may need it.
The road ahead will be rife with uneven surfaces. Expect twists, turns, hairpin curves, hills, and valleys. Detours and barricades will block the way from time to time. Stay focused! Keep your eye on the endgame. Remain committed to raising your child in a culture of learning that supports her social, emotional, physical, and intellectual growth, and you, too, will arrive at your destination wiser for the journey.
Think back to the days immediately after your child was born. What were you thinking as you cuddled your infant in your arms and peered lovingly into his or her face? Were you hoping she would become president, or did your thoughts center on whether she would become an honest, caring, responsible, and compassionate person? How about healthy, kind, and respectful? My guess is, you wished for all of these and more.
Most likely, the things you wished for your child were the things you hold most dear in your own life. Your personal beliefs will direct and guide you as you maneuver through the long stretches of your child’s journey, known as infancy, toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence, and— gasp!—adulthood.
“For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.”
~ William Ross Wallace ~
Excerpted with permission from Wise Up and Be the Solution: How to Create a Culture of Learning at Home and Make Your Child a Success in School by James L. Casale, PhD.. Copyright 2015, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
James L. Casale, PhD is an award-winning teacher and principal with fifty years of experience in education. He is the founder and author of the blog, Ask the Principal. He has a PhD in education and management/administration and was named Florida Teacher of the Year in 1974, becoming the first male in Florida to earn the title. He resides in Palms Beach, Florida.