It’s tucked into the bassinet of the sleeping newborn, and the building blocks of the toddler at play. It’s stitched into the backpack of the first-grader and the diploma of the high school graduate.
What is it? Hope. And throughout our children’s lives, hope plays a starring role in letting our children believe that, with hard work, determination and commitment to a vision of a better future, goals will be met and dreams will be realized – despite the obstacles that will indubitably be encountered along the way.
Hope has an important place in parenting, but it makes no promises. As parents, we cannot control our children’s future (let alone our own), but with hope, we can offer our children the potential for greatness and for opportunities where all things are possible. Hopeful parents understand that life is not always good or easy but also recognize that through a commitment to purpose and with a focus on a preferred future, and an abiding embrace of promise and hope, life can expand, and move into something richer, deeper and more fulfilling.
Hope is an essential ingredient of human development. It makes individuals look forward to a better tomorrow as they are bolstered for the challenges of today. It steels our sense of purpose and offers a glimpse of what tomorrow holds as we move through the gamut of challenges and hardships that life often presents. Because of hope, we know that tomorrow will be better.
Scientific evidence clearly demonstrates that hopefulness has a critical role in motivation and change. It is well recognized by neuroscientists and physicians that hope provides a power for healing and working through difficult times. It gives strength to the mind and the body. There are highs and lows in everyone’s lives. Hopeful people know that better times await and that the bad times can be endured. The promise of a new tomorrow drives hopeful people through the thickening clouds of despair and fear.
Change is not easy. But, equipped with a sense of hopefulness, we can buoy our spirits and tolerate the daunting challenges that we face. As parents, it is our responsibility to offer hope to our children. Especially during difficult times, parents need to arm themselves with the power of hope – for ourselves and, even more so, for our children.
Throughout their childhood, I have often told my sons not to squander their potential for greatness. Each child has that potential. As a parent, enshroud your children in a blanket woven with hopefulness and dreams of a better future, where anything and everything is possible for them. You owe it to your children to do no less.