12 Things I Hope My Kids Learn From Me

Recently, Disney asked me to help spread the word about the upcoming release of the Diamond Edition of their classic story, Pinocchio. As I reflected on Pinocchio’s journey to become a real boy by being brave, truthful, and unselfish, I thought about my own hopes for my kids, and how they are rooted in my own personal growth for traits like these, and more.

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From the first second that I saw that perfect, scrunchy, newborn face inches from mine, I knew. The rush of intense love flooded every crack and crevice in my body and I was a total goner. Gobsmacked, smitten, and in love. Boy, was I in for a ride. (And all the mamas said a hearty amen.)

Parenthood is a funny thing sometimes. We want so many things for our children. A million wildest dream scenarios play out in our imaginations, but it seems that the one thing that they want most is to be like us. They admire our good parts (hurray!), and subconsciously assimilate the bad ones (gulp).

And so we desperately try to better ourselves in order to provide a better example, and secretly hope that we’re not screwing them up too badly.

Now, anyone who has been a parent for more than five seconds will tell you that it’s a pretty wild ride. And to be honest, you can’t possibly know how wild it is until you’re already buckled in and moving. Too late to jump ship, so we simply hold on tightly and keep reminding ourselves to take deep breaths.

With three beautiful and imperfect little darlings in our family, and the years ticking by without fail, I find myself wishing and dreaming about their futures a lot.

It’s not the wishing-for-that-new-phone-case kind of wishing. Nope. It’s more along the lines of an inexplicable aching-in-your-bones desperation for their good and whatever it takes to get it.

You know, regular, every-day parental emotions.

Recently, Disney asked me to help spread the word about the upcoming release of the Diamond Edition of their classic story, Pinocchio. As I reflected on Pinocchio’s journey to become a real boy by being brave, truthful, and unselfish, I thought about my own hopes for my kids, and how they are rooted in my own personal growth for traits like these, and more.

Like every other good mama out there, I want so many big and important things for my kids. Furthermore - I desperately want to be the one who models those things to them. Yes, for better or for worse, my hopes for my kids are frequently hinged on my own personal aspirations.

I figure it’s better to be honest about this than to pretend like we aren’t our children’s own biggest motivators. It’s true, and it’s a weighty responsibility indeed. One cannot simply wish great things for their kids while turning a blind eye to their own responsibility in modelling those very same things.

So, step one to guiding our kiddos toward our hopes and dreams for them is to embody the very traits you desire to see in them.

As such, I desire to be the best version of myself possible and to continue my personal growth journey while they watch my every move. (But no pressure. Ha!)

In that vein, I can boil it down to this spaghetti-like entanglement of desires:

12 Things I Hope My Kids Learn From Me (My Parental Wishlist)

  1. For them to be their best as I become mine. Not the best, but their best. There’s a difference.
  2. I want my kids to learn bravery by watching me be brave.
  3. I hope they’ll become truth-tellers because I routinely tell them the truth in love.
  4. That they’ll stand firmly rooted in the world, because our family environment lets them feel secure.
  5. To live selflessly because they’ve seen me putting others first.
  6. And also to care for themselves tenderly while they watch me cultivate a healthy practice of self-care.
  7. I want my kids to learn self-control as a natural outflowing of my slow-to-anger efforts in the midst of every single one of my buttons being pushed.
  8. I want my kids to become hard workers because they’ve witnessed their mama working steadily on a task without quitting. (Or getting distracted by her phone eleventy-billion times throughout the task.)
  9. I want my kids to become compassionate human beings after watching me show compassion to them, and all around me.
  10. That graciousness will be their first response to being wronged because I chose to show them what grace looks like for their childish mistakes.
  11. For them to learn to love deeply because I love them with every available fibre of my being.
  12. And that they’ll embrace their creative spirit while watching me relentlessly honour, and make space for, my own.

Above all else I hope and wish for the fortitude to press onward in all these things that I might give the best gift of all to my kiddos: an example worth emulating.

Bring home the magic of Pinocchio with your family! New to The Walt Disney Signature Collection and for the first time on digital, The Diamond Edition of Pinocchio is available now on Digital HD & Disney Movies Anywhere, and on Blu-ray January 31.

Beth Ricci is the creator and editor at Red & Honey, a lifestyle blog for the naturally-minded homemaker. She has had three babies in less than four years, is a professional laundry-avoider, and loves to stay up way too late making weird stuff from scratch that normal people tend to just buy in a store.

This post is sponsored by Disney’s Pinocchio. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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