By now you have probably seen the touching video of baby Piper getting glasses and truly seeing the world for the very first time (and if you haven’t, prepare for a heart tug).
As of now, my own children don’t require glasses to see; however, they lean on us, as parents, to be their “life glasses,” in a sense. Before the world teaches my babies to turn a blind eye, these are five things I hope I can help them “see.”
1. See a need
In a world that is very much centered on the word “me,” I hope my children will focus on “them.” I hope they have the eyes to look beyond themselves and serve others, even without being asked. Last year, I was humbled to watch my community come together to support multiple families who had literally lost everything in an apartment fire. As the kindergarten teacher to one of the little boys affected by the fire, I admired the parents who involved their own children in the giving process. These parents called on 5-year-olds to give of their own possessions to help a classmate and friend. They helped their children open their eyes to see a need — and act on it.
2. See an underdog
I have my mom to thank for this life lesson, and it’s a lesson I intend to pass on to my own kids. When we were growing up, my mom would always remind us to “root/cheer/vote for the underdog.” Whether it was during student council elections, team tryouts or just a regular day, she would always say that to us as we got out of the car. Promoting this message teaches children to be aware of others. It will teach them kindness and empathy. Think of it this way: At some point in time, we will all be the underdog. How would you want to be treated?
3. See an opportunity
In our current school system, a child’s success path is all but laid out for them. I hope to help my children see the “in-between” opportunities that don’t necessarily have a grade or paycheck attached — an opportunity for personal growth, an opportunity to lead, and an opportunity to go the extra mile “just because.” In a society where overachievers are undervalued, I hope my children will rise to the occasion.
4. See the positive
It seems like everywhere you turn, there are stories of tragedy or crime. While we don’t need kids who are oblivious and sheltered, we can all benefit from a future generation that believes in goodness, even miracles. We have enough naysayers and pessimists; I wish for my children to shed some light and positivity and help others see the bright spots in a dark world.
5. See a real friend
Real friends can be hard to come by. The “mean girl” syndrome (albeit not limited to just girls) is a fast spreading epidemic. Through example, I want my children to see what it looks like to be trustworthy, kind and selfless. By identifying those qualities in others around them not only will they be able to choose good friends, but also be one to others.
Lyndsi is the creator of the Facebook page For All Momkind and author to the For All Momkind blog. She has many titles including Wife, Kindergarten Teacher, Sister, and her favorite title, Mom.