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Anyone who has ever worked on a project, organized an event, or planned a trip, will know what it means to work from the end position, to start with the deadline, working back to the start.  It gives you a sense of what is needed in order to achieve the result.  It helps you plan how much of your time to devote to the project, each day, week, or month.  You can look at the overall timing and at the measures of accomplishment along the way. You can visualize the ‘big picture’ and then break down the project into smaller more manageable chunks, with milestones and success markers along the path; looking long makes it look less overwhelming.

What if we did that with our children?  What if we looked down the road twenty years, at the adult destined for greatness, whole and heading out? What if we saw the big picture, a vision of what is possible, and then did everything we could to help them ‘become’.  What if we changed how we raised them up?

Having a vision helps keep you on your path, heading in a forward direction. Decision-making is simplified, “if it doesn’t match the vision, then it doesn’t get incorporated into the project.” What if we had a vision for the kind of parent we wanted to be and kind of child we wanted to help raise, it makes sense to me that we could plan for that. With the end in mind, we could focus less on the details, and on what matters more.

We could look past the dirt and the stitches, knowing that the adventurer was already on his path.  We could look past the mismatched clothing and odd socks and know the designer was finding her way.

We could help her feel good in her own skin with positive ‘body’ messages, worry less about the outside, and more about the inside, move the mirror and raise the bar.

We could help him become strong and healthy; provide fresh and hand-made food, take him to dance, to hockey, to yoga.  We could get out of his way so he could go the distance.

We could help her fear less and live large; avoid apprehension and add a map, do more and have less, help her wonder and wander, clear the path instead of building more walls.

We could help him create more; introduce music and magic, say yes more than no, be open to what he sees, help him believe and share his art.   We would mean it when we say, “be whoever you want to be”, even if it’s not what we had in mind.

We could help her stay safe, introduce her to her own voice, the one that hears the message that she can’t ignore, teach her where her strength comes from, how to trust, where to find support.

We could help him be of service, provide opportunities, open doors, find a road less traveled, help him share his gifts with grace. We could help her mediate through madness, share her spirit, find her faith, walk with peace.

If we worked toward helping them get there, we could stay focused on the end game.  Worry less about how they look or what others may think.  We could understand how they feel and what moves them to be who they are. We could provide the microscope they want instead of the books we think they should read.  We could bring a bike home instead of a movie, give them paintbrushes instead of hairbrushes, and know that the video game she is creating moves her mind when she’s in her chair. We could see them for who they are becoming, instead of who we dreamed they might become.

We could help them monitor the progress, face the challenges and track results along the way.   We could acknowledge the milestones and celebrate the successes, changing course as needed. Our children could be the designers, and we could help manage the project; let them own their own journey.  We could stay true to the vision, offer up resources, tools and support.  We could help them face the challenges, and they could solve their own problems.

How about we plan for AMAZING, make it possible to dream, offer up a safe place to land and get out of their way.

hindsight is 20 20 -post, Isabella-5793

Photography credit: Andrew Chambers Photography (andrew.chambers@live.ca)

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