We know what we want our kids to say about us when they grow up. We want them to say that we were great parents, that we did our best. We want them to say that they knew they were loved. We want them to say that they love spending time with us–especially now that they’re older and they have a choice.
Thinking about what we want our kids to say about their childhood can be really helpful because it gives us clarity. It gives us perspective. It tells us what to prioritize and what not to prioritize. And, as it happens, thinking about what we want our kids not to say about their childhood is also beneficial.
“Here are some things I don’t want my children to say about me when they’re older,” Dr. Becky writes in Good Inside. “‘My mom? She did everything for me,’ or ‘My mom always put me first,’ or ‘My mom never took care of herself, she was too busy caring for us.’ I hope they never say any version of, ‘My mom ran herself into the ground while she parented me.’”
Take a minute today, by yourself and with your spouse, and try to run through these. It might feel weird to focus on the negative, but it’s actually quite helpful. Because it demonstrates your values and goals quite clearly–by articulating the nightmare scenarios, the potential failures that could so easily happen if you’re not careful.