As I mentioned several weeks ago, I am in a six-month long course called Partners in Leadership. It’s a class designed for people with disabilities and for parents raising children with special needs.
This month’s homework had us create a vision statement for our child with a disability. Instead, we wrote a parenting vision statement. Since we plan on treating our child with Down syndrome the same way we treat our daughter with the typical 46 sets of chromosomes (generally speaking) this is for both of them.
To Violet, Anderson and any future kids we are fortunate enough to have—we know we will not always live up to this ideal. But we want you to know we love you and will always try to do what’s best for each of you.
Our Parenting Vision Statement
We want to raise children who are not afraid of asking, “why?” We want our children to think for themselves and not take things at face value. Instead we hope they can take an idea, use their knowledge, morals and take time to research if this is something they should agree with or not.
We want to raise kind children. We want our kids to embrace people’s differences, including their own. We will teach our children to love their neighbor, not only through our words, but hopefully through our actions as well.
To steal part of a mantra from a veteran mom, we want to raise our children to live in the real world—not the special needs world and not a world that especially centers around them.
We hope our children will be confident. We want our kids to know who they are and what they believe. We want them to understand they are no better than anyone, but they are no less than anyone either.
We want to be as open as possible with our children, in hopes they feel like they can come to us about anything.
In our house we will love on another. Because the world outside our home’s walls can be tough enough—inside we will love each other. We will teach our children to love others as well. They will understand that love is not an emotion, but an action. An action, like a muscle, that needs to be exercised regularly.
We want to teach our children to take healthy risks. We want them to be level-headed, but know when it’s time to pick the other foot off the ground. When it comes to who they will love, where they will live or what they will do, we hope we can instill this lesson from our own lives: don’t settle for comfort.
We want our build a home that is full of joy. We want our hallways to echo with laughter.
We know trials will come and when they do, we will sometimes face them together. Other times, we will choose to stand in the background and watch our kids navigate the choppy waters. But even when the storm clouds build up above, we hope to teach our children how to dance in the rain.
If you are interested in seeing if your state has a similar course, click here.