3 things we could have done more

As of this week, both of my daughters have graduated from high school. We’re moving to a new stage of life as empty nesters.

Yesterday, I wrote at post on the 5 things that I think my wife and I did well in preparing our children for adulthood. Of course, we made our share of mistakes, and we’ve had some struggles. Today, I’ll share with you 3 things that, looking back, we should have done more for our children.

1. More family vacations

We have had a tight budget for many years. There are many experiences that we had to cancel because of low cash flow. I wish we would have made a priority of budgeting these things or finding local alternatives.

Many families do the same vacation every year. In our area people own or rent houses “down the shore.” Those are good vacations as they create many family memories, but I’d suggest many different vacations. Vacations should create memories and experiences. Vacations are a great time for children to learn to be more independent, to stretch their knowledge, and to learn to problem solve.

We did some of these and had great experiences. I wish we would have done more.

2. More diversity

Elie’s graduating class of 505 people included on two people of African heritage. One of those is a first generation immigrant. One person commented that every person in her graduating class belonged to the “preppy group.” That doesn’t mean that there weren’t sub-classes, but the differences were minimum. They were so small that my daughter could actually delineate between the bandies and the “orch dorks” (her words for her group of friends).

I love the education my kids received. I love the friends that they made. But wish that they would have been in an environment where they would have know more kids of different races and cultures. I grew up in a racially mixed world. I appreciate that many of my friends had Spanish names. Just this week as I told a story of my childhood, Elie acknowledged that she missed out on understanding what I learned about the Mexican cousin experience.

We tried to introduce our children to people that are different than them. I wish they could have experienced these differences more regularly.

3. More connections to family

Because ministry called us all the way across the country, we haven’t seen much of our extended family. I wish that we could have bridged that gap more. Family connect helps a person to understand their heritage better. I wish my kids knew their cousins better. I wish my kids could have more stories about times with their grandparents.

 

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