Your Vision for Your Children

Think about your children and about your hopes and dreams for them and for their futures. At the same time, think about your role, about what your commitment is. Your hopes for and commitment to your children is your “vision” for them.

Here is a sample vision statement that you can use as a starting point as you develop your personal vision statement. Please work with the statement until it reflects your vision for your children and your commitment to them. You may want to add items, delete items, or change items. Your goal is to make the vision statement yours.

After each item in your vision statement, write a sentence or two about why you think it’s important.

My children:

●Must have their needs for food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, and spiritual nurturing met.

●Deserve my unconditional love and respect.

●Must develop a strong sense of self-worth and personal esteem.

●Are entitled to live in a safe, nurturing home where they can develop to their fullest potentials.

●Must learn how to be responsible, contributing members of the community.

What else should be in this section of your personal vision statement to make it right for you?

●(a.)

●(b.)

Children, Sexual Abuse, and Truth

Whether responsible judgements can be made about things that did or did not happen based on interviews with very young children is a topic that receives a lot of attention. Specifically, the question is whether pre-school children can tell us when they have been sexually abused and whether what they tell us can be believed. This is a complex issue and cannot be answered in simple yes/no terms. Rather, it requires an understanding of child development, an understanding of the kinds of events that prompt concern, and the process that leads to seeing events from the child’s perspective.

The development of children is multidimensional and continuous from birth through adolescence.

“Children have a physical, doing dimension. It incorporates their physical bodies, their potentials and capacities to do and behave, and most of what is visible in terms of their actions and activities. Part of each parent’s role is to help his or her children grow to respect and appreciate their physical abilities and skills, to know how to behave in a variety of situations, and to recognize and utilize their physical capacities and potentials. This physical, doing dimension starts at infancy and is central to kids’ adjustment throughout their ongoing, on-growing journey to adulthood.

“The same level of importance holds for the emotional dimension of children. Here are found feelings, fears and frustrations, sadness and joy, disappointment and excitement, love and hate, fun and futility. Growing children experience all of these emotions and need to learn how to interpret them, how to express them, and how to manage them. For example, kids must learn to express anger without having tantrums, to deal with despair and disappointment without becoming destructively depressed, to express love and joy without getting into harmful or inappropriate relationships. Within this dimension, children must learn to deal with the internal experience of emotions as well as how to express their feelings effectively and appropriately.

“Around the age of four or five the moral, spiritual dimension begins to emerge. Effectively helping children develop a solid sense of right and wrong, good and bad, requires that their parents are clear about their own values and beliefs in these areas. Success in this dimension is critical to success in the social dimension that emerges about the same time. When kids are about five or six, the social dimension becomes dominate and begins to interact with the other developing dimensions. The social dimension embraces the child’s potential to interact with other children and adults and to become socially effective and self-determined.

“By about eleven or twelve, the young person’s emerging sexual dimension begins dynamically interacting with the other developing dimensions. Sexual behavior and attitudes that are appropriate and inappropriate, healthy and unhealthy, effective and ineffective are best conveyed to maturing adolescents by parents who have thought through the issues.

“For younger children, ‘sexual’ behavior normally is not related to interests and interactions associated with ‘adult’ sexuality. Rather, it is related to physical and gender interest and curiosity. If ‘adult’ interests or specifically ‘sexual’ content is present, a specialized consultation is indicated to assess possible sexual abuse or inappropriate sexual experience.”

19 Keys To Successful Children

If you have or plan to have children or sometimes discuss parenting with folks who do have children, here are nineteen points that may prompt additional discussion incorporating the multidimensional development of children and the need to take this aspect of young people into consideration. Parenting with a toddler is not the same as parenting when the young person transitions into adulthood. Parenting is definitely a changing proposition as kids grow and develop.

1. Your child is a physical/doing person. What do you do to facilitate and encourage his/her healthy physical growth and development?

2. Your child is an emotional/feeling person. What do you do to facilitate and encourage his/her healthy emotional growth and development?

3. Your child is a moral/spiritual person. What do you do to facilitate and encourage his/her healthy moral growth and development?

4. Your child is a social/interpersonal person. What do you do to facilitate and encourage his/her healthy social growth and development, healthy interpersonal involvements and activities?

5. Your child is a sexual person. What do you do to facilitate and encourage his/her healthy sexual experience?

6. Your child is a cognitive/thinking person. What do you do to facilitate and encourage his/her healthy and ongoing cognitive growth and development?

7. Your child is part of his/her environment. What do you do to facilitate and encourage a positive environment for your child at home, at school, in your community?