But we don’t have to try to pack an entire lifetime of experiences into 18 years. Our job, our real job, is to make our kids feel safe and loved. That’s it.
If you want to go on fancy vacations and you can afford it, then do it. It’ll be fun. But please don’t feel like your kid is missing out. There is no official list of things they must do or see in order to have a good childhood.
Remember that you are raising children, not building a résumé.
Orchestrating a series of once-in-a-lifetime experiences for kids in’t the goal of parenting. Raising well-rounded, secure, healthy people is the goal, and there are many ways to do that — both ones that do and don’t include a trip to Disney World.
Not all of the experiences that develop your child’s character can be found on a list of 101 Amazing Things Your Kids Must Do Before They Grow Up.
So maybe the things that end up shaping your kids’ lives will be cheaper, closer to home, and in a word, ordinary.
Maybe their “what I did over my summer vacation” essay when they go back to school in the fall will sound less impressive than their classmates’.
Because of money, distance, family circumstances, or a hundred other reasons, your kids are going to “miss out” on a good number of things we wish they could experience.
That really doesn’t matter as much as we think it does. Because if your kids know what it feels like to grow up loved, then you’re already giving them the most important experience of all.
This article originally appeared at The Unremarkable Files.