Thursday, May 13, 2010

20/20 Vision


The other morning Jim and I were talking about our grandkids. Not an uncommon practice of ours, by the way :-). We were thinking about how quickly they are growing up. Before we knew it we had a little vision of what life will be like for them in the year 2020. Now I realize our kids may not like this post very much because it creates a vision of the kids in just ten years and no parent likes to think that far ahead during these precious growing up years. But, invited or dreaded...it will come.

We speculated a bit about their
possibilities and our hopes for them...

Piper at 21 may be just putting in her papers for a mission like her Mom was, she may be married with a baby like her Aunt Laura, or about to graduate from college and pursue her chosen career. Maybe she will have written her first book or sold a painting? She will probably form very deep friendships because of her sincerity, sweetness and loyalty.

Spencer
will be just about to return from his mission and get on with his education as his Daddy and uncles were at that age. He'll probably have invented a few things by then. He'll have a scholarship and have his career path underway. He'll probably still play with Legos like his uncle Chris. He'll be getting a dog as soon as he can!

Connor will probably have another six months on his mission and be looking forward to being home by Christmas for the first time in two years. He might be seeking and thinking in a different language about now and registering for his next semester at college. Maybe he'll be a concert pianist by then?

Julia should be just about to finish her first year of college and thinking about living in an apartment with her friends in the fall. She'll probably be looking for a job for the summer and no doubt be a gourmet cook by then. Or she will open her day spa? She has an entrepreneurial leaning and coupled with her intelligence that can lead her in many different paths. She will get her education first regardless.

Ross will be nearly 18 and about the finish high school. He'll probably be finishing up a high school sports team experience and thinking about University in the fall. He will be just a couple months away from receiving his Melchizedek Priesthood ordination. I can envision him in the debate club or in the drama productions at school. There will be happy laughter wherever Ross is.

Aynslee will be a junior in High School, awaiting her ACT or SAT scores and thinking about her Junior Prom which will be very soon since it is May. I can see her as a cheerleader, in a school leadership position, a volunteer at the hospital or in a classroom. And she'll be a great friend to many because of her compassion for others. Her best friend will be her mom!

Zach will probably just be finishing up his Eagle Scout Award and getting his driver's license. He'll be a computer whiz and a really good student. His winning smile and good disposition will be a gigantic help in all his pursuits in his life. I can see him as a baseball player like his dad was at 16.

Chloe will be in her sophomore year of high school, having lots of fun and thinking about being able to go on dates in just one more year. She'll be a wonderful caring sister to Hazie and spend lots of time with her. She will have a great sense of humor and keep us all laughing! Chloe will know what she wants and how to get it. Her personality will open all kinds of doors for her.

Owen will be less than a month away from being a teenager! He'll have already been a deacon for almost one year. He'll probably be looking forward to ruling the campus with all the other 8th graders in the fall after a fun-filled summer and some kind of Scout camp.

Hazie will be 12 1/2, a beehive at church and enjoying looking forward to being a teenager. She'll be in junior high and more independent than we can all possibility imagine by then. I think she will serve in the community and be a help and inspiration to many. She will have developed some talents that will bring her a lot of fulfillment and she will have a ton of friends and a really bright future.

Well, that was fun to imagine!
It would be even more fun to put
this in a time capsule to be opened
in 2020!

Each of them will be in or about to enter into the most important decision making years of their lives. What they decide now will influence the rest of their lives in ways that are hard to imagine at this age. It is all about choices for them right now in the year 2020.


Thinking about these things we were talking about the role of their parents and grandparents between now and then. We have just one decade to prepare them for these golden years of important decision making.

Jim and I have done some teaching about this subject over the years with young people and one thing we always tell them is that you have to have some targets. Without those targets it is hard to know where your arrow will come to rest. We have seen so many young adults that never really had a clear vision of what they were heading for without a lot of guidance and open communication with their parents. They are in their twenties and somewhat frustrated and clueless as to where to go and what to do next.

So one thing that seems to be very important is exposing them to a lot of different opportunities and helping them discover their talents, interests, and encouraging them to pursue them. I think one of the most important things a parent can do is to ask them the right questions. The questions would be thought provoking questions that make the young person delve deeply into what they want and think about things. They may be thinking being a volunteer fireman would be the coolest thing ever and unable to follow through with that thought enough to realize they probably won't want to live at home the rest of their lives with no money. An extreme example but their parents and grandparents can help them see the big picture.

We can help them build a healthy character with a common foundation of spiritual beliefs and experiences about our Savior, Jesus Christ, that teach civility, honesty, service to and concern for others, and love of God, country and family. Learning to be morally clean and modest will protect them and bring happiness into their lives that is lasting.

Teaching them the importance of an education will strengthen them and fortify them and promote their self-reliance and help them to be a contributor for the greater good. Teaching them to WORK is essential to getting what they want.

Teaching them of their individual worth, their potential and above all that they are loved by God and their family will take them to heights they will never know otherwise. Because they are loved first they will be able to love. This is as much a part of their health and well-being as good nutrition and being physically fit.

The importance of a good functional family and finding the teaching moments day by day cannot be underestimated. I mention the teaching moments because although being a good example is very important, a lot of kids simply do not learn by osmosis. We have to talk a lot, open their vision to what is in front of them and help them gain some of the wisdom from our own hindsight which is often 20/20. We should share our mistakes and trials and what we have learned. And also share what helped us succeed.

It is definitely a lot. No wonder we have been given so many years and so much help to do it. But it has to happen day by day with certain targets in mind. It is may be why we have family home evenings, family dinners together, one on one "dates" with our kids, priesthood interviews, the help of our church and school communities and extended, caring families.

If we as their families are not proactive in helping them grow up and attain their goals....who will? The evidence we see all around us proves it doesn't just happen. Carpe Diem! Seize the day and make it happen. We cannot predict the future or force them to make good decisions but we can certainly help shape them! It is exciting isn't it? What a glorious stewardship and responsibility the Lord has entrusted us with as parents and grandparents, may we rise to the occasion day by day. Foresight is 20/20.

8 comments:

LA Adams said...

This is really fantastic Bonnie! I like the target points and I'll be looking at this post again to cull a few more ideas one at a time. Thanks

BECKY said...

What a thought provoking post, Bon!
All we are investing today will reap benefits in the future, that's for sure! My main prayer and goal in instruction is for my children and grandys to have a personal relationship with Jesus...and encouraging them daily to live their lives for Him. If they do that...as with us...He will handle the details! What a blessed assurance!! From a marvelous Savior!

Praying His very best for you today, dear friend. Sure love your heart, and am so glad to be visiting again!!

Love you!!
Becky

BECKY said...

I just have to tell you how very much I love seeing your smiling face!! You are beautiful inside and out!

Blessings and joy,
Becky

Caroline Craven said...

So many thoughts about this post. I was horrified to become a parent and realize this huge responsibility. Thankfully, I had a great partner/helper. I couldn't have done it on my own for sure. And we couldn't have done it on our own without guidance from church leaders, scriptures and a ton of praying. Thankfully, we're not left alone in this tremendous responsibility.

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Bon Bon,
What a great post. Loved how you imagined where your grandchildren will be and what they will be doing.
How fun was that, and I am sure they will all get a big kick out of reading about themselves and what their loving grandparents think about them!! So neat! Every kid should have grandparents like you guys. We want to be grand parents like that we just have to get the grandkids!! lol
Pray for Scott because he has a job possibility, and it is in the area, so that would be so great!!
We got a BIG surprise last night,
when Jim was leaving work they called him in and laid him off!!
So we were in shock for a bit, cause we had NO clue this was even remotely possible at this point.
Surprise Surprise!!
The company lost a huge contract
and decided to lay off 10 people.
They are trying to renegotiate the contract and if that should happen there is a slim possibility they might hire him back in June or July, but we are not counting on it, but who knows, only the Lord.
So we are just seeking His direction and know that as always He will take care of us. This is our 5th time in our 40 yrs. of marriage to go thru this, so we have never seen the Lord fail so far!!
Have a great day you lil dreamer you!! I think that is great!!
Love ya, Nellie

laura.elizabeth said...

Hey Mom, Robert did something special so I can get on your blog without getting booted off- yeah Robert!
Anyway, this is a great post. It will be fun to read it 10 years from now and see how close your prediction were.
Anyway, this is something that I have been thinking about a lot. I don't feel like I have given my kids very many opportunities and it scares me. I want them to try new things and get involved but they resist. I worry that they won't have had the opportunities they need to make the choices they will be faced with.
Anyway, this is a great post and one that we will be talking about as a family (probably next Monday)! Thanks for your thoughts and wisdom!

Marie said...

A wonderful post with some beautiful insights here Bonnie. I just love your writings. I could sure have used you as a friend and help when my children were small and growing up!!! Nevermind I did the best I knew how to do and they have all turned out great! Love your predictions for the grandchildren! xxoo

Bonnie said...

Janet wrote:

Thanks, Bonnie. I enjoy everything you send. You are a super grandmother!

Love,
Janet