I would do anything short of sin to make life better for my kids. One day, twenty-five years ago, when my kids were young I realized that the best thing I could do for them wasn’t to make more money or buy a bigger house—it was to provide them with the best version of me.
That was going to take some work. I wasn’t a bad person, yet I was acutely aware of my shortcomings. I’d hoped I would have simply grown out of them. But I knew in reality it was going to take some real work on my part.
I believed what Jesus had taught: that if you have faith in God and believe that what you say will happen, it will. I knew there was tremendous life-changing power in a person’s words.
So I typed up a series of affirmations that I would say about myself every day. One section was in regard to what kind of relationship I wanted to have with my kids. Not just for that year or the years they would be at home, but when they were adults as well.
I realized a few weeks ago that all that I enjoyed today with each of my kids was due to that decision. I took a picture of that page I’d typed a quarter of a century ago and sent to them. They all responded immediately with amazement because it was dead on accurate. It made me seem like a prophet to them.
You can also use self-talk to become a better you for your children. Here’s how to write out your own self-fulfilling prophecy:
- Identify what you want. What do you want your relationship with your kids to be? What do you want for them? Imagine the end of your life with your kids with you. What will you want them to say about you? What kind of parent do you need to become for those things to happen? Make a list. Don’t worry about full sentences—just start listing things you deeply desire to become.
Write it out. Using the list your created, write a description of who you want to be and the kind of relationship you have with your kids. Write it in the present tense as if these things were true now. Don’t feel you are being untruthful just because you may not be the full version of that description yet. You are shaping the future. Take time with this. The end result should be something that inspires you.
Read this out loud daily. Set aside a few minutes each day to find a private place and read this out loud. See yourself as this person. It may seem strange at first. After a short time, you will hear confidence grow in your voice. Eventually, this will become your new identity and your behavior will start to align with it. Build a habit of including this in your daily morning routine. If you don’t have a good morning routine, you need one. The best book on the subject I can recommend is The Miracle Morning.
Don’t settle for anything less than the best version of you. Your kids deserve it. Become the parent they need, the person you want to be, by changing the way you talk about and see yourself.
Question: What is one thing you’d like for your kids to say about you at the end of your life? Share your answer in the comments below.