Whatever ages your kids are now, I believe strongly that it helps to look into the future and picture them older, almost grown, ready to leave home. That’s why I wrote No Regrets Parenting, which asks you to do just that – to make your present day choices about the time you spend with your kids while picturing day when the choices will no longer be yours to make. Parent each day with an eye towards the future – because it comes fast!
When your kids graduate high school and are ready to move on – to college or other adult pursuits – you will experience a “graduation” of sorts yourself. You will graduate from being the parent of kids at home to being the parent of kids on their own, or semi-launched as we say in our house. Your parenting doesn’t end when the kids leave for college, but it changes dramatically. When that day arrives, when you “graduate” from being the parent of kids at home, here’s the No Regrets Parenting graduation speech I’d like you to be able to give:
I’ve done it!
They’re in college or out in the world!
I raised wonderful children who love their parents and know their parents. I turned countless childhood minutes, hours, days, and weeks that would have otherwise been lost in the name of efficiency into special moments that I’ll cherish forever.
I was there with them every chance I had, and I created chances to be with them that I never imagined I could
And as reward for my commitment, passion, and love, I can now pass by their empty bedrooms, feeling fond nostalgia and missing them terribly. But what a blessing it is to feel No Regrets!
The days were long, the years were short, and the time I had with them was then. But I made the time and I took the time.
Now it’s my time.
I’ve earned it.