I see it often this time of year. In the craziness of college applications (and spending too much time online reading the unsubstantiated views of others), perspectives can become blurred and we can forget our original intent for our child’s education. Perhaps we picked our educational path in order to nurture our child’s mathematical precociousness or to give her time to explore her musical gifts. Maybe we embraced the lifestyle which gave us freedom of educational choice, the time to enjoy each other or to serve the community. Possibly we wanted to escape a bad situation and provide a more nurturing environment for our child to thrive. Whatever the reason, there was originally a reason. We decided on an educational path for our child and that choice necessitated that we pick one thing and leave others behind.
However, over the years, we can begin to lose sight of our original goals. During the stressful months of applying to college, our memory can get hazy over the reasons we chose as we did. We can get caught up in the mad rush to the ivy league and forget that still small voice that asks if that would honestly be the best choice for our child. We can listen too long to others and begin to question ourselves as we head to the finish line.
For that reason, I encourage all families, especially young families and regardless of your educational venue, to Declare Your Why. Spend some time thinking about your goals for your children, their development, what you want your life to look like, and how you want to parent. Then, write it down. Keep it close, in a place where you can review it periodically to remind you what matters. Then, when something goes awry, when life begins to move at warp speed, or when you start to doubt yourself, you can pull out your declaration and be at peace, come what may.
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