What do you want for your children?

What do you want for your child in education? Whether you’re home educating or they’re at school, what do you want for them? What do you want them to end up with?

I’m asking this because there’s such a cross section of ideas on this one.

When I’ve asked before most people just mention qualifications, only measuring education by those outcomes.

Some people see education as not having an outcome but rather as an ongoing process, not answerable to grades, but a personal development and achievement which is not measureable.

Others don’t need it measured, they just want their children to grow, progress, thrive and be happy. A forward flowing process that works towards creating happy, productive people who are a pleasure to be with.

And that’s what I always wanted for my children. For I reckon they needed to be happy in order to achieve and build confidence. Children who are unhappy rarely reach their potential.

Having happy children doesn’t mean they never face up to challenges, or overcome difficulties. It’s not those things that stop us being happy. It’s being disrespected.

So whatever learning environment they were in I wanted them to be respected. This way they would know how to build respect for themselves and others, you cannot develop confidence if you’re in a climate where you’re disrespected and have no say.

That’s another thing I’d want – for them to have charge over their education, with guidance perhaps, but certainly some control over what happens to them. This is the only way they build independence. Keeping them bound to a prescribed or spoon-fed educational path over which they have no influence is no way to nurture independence.

And nurture is maybe one of the most important aspects of all. Education needs to nurture them. Nurture them as people as much as learners who are gaining knowledge and skills. Nurture them personally so they in turn understand what that feels like and how to pass it on to others. Nurture their individual needs and personalities, weaknesses and strengths, gifts and attributes.

And finally I’d want them to have inspirational experiences that make them even hungrier to learn about the world, to go out into it and make their own little difference, by being productive and proactive, loving and kind, respectful and responsible. Nurturing, inspirational, exciting, varied experiences and opportunities are what do that.

So I wanted their education to be the same; nurturing, inspiring, varied and experiential, knowledge and opportunity rich.

With the development of all those things, other outcomes like qualifications perhaps, fall into place naturally.

What do you want for your children? Do leave me your thoughts.

10 thoughts on “What do you want for your children?

  1. I want happiness above all else for my twins. I would love them to be gifted and go far but equally if that’s not what they want I want them to have the freedom to choose their path and know they will be supported all the way.
    My older son is 26, he hated school every single day of his school career but we lived in Italy and there weren’t any other feasible options. Today I am very proud that my son is a chef, a very good one and what’s more he enjoys his work

  2. All I know is that I am confused about what I think is best for my youngest (special needs) educationally is and your post has put another spanner in the works. Of course I want him to just be happy (which he currently is) – but I have to decide whether to remove him from his friends or not. I think what I want for each of my children from education differs for each individual child.

    • Thanks so much for your comment Pinkoddy – sorry you’re confused even further!! But you’re right in that each child requires individual consideration and what suits one, doesn’t suit all! 🙂 Hope it sorts itself soon! x

  3. Parents seem to be so hung up on qualifications and I have been wondering recently whether to some extent it is for them rather than for the children?’ My child has fifteen A’s – aren’t I a superb parent?’ sort of thing. The child might be a nervous wreck, tired, unhappy and resentful though and isn’t that a frightfully high price to pay to live vicariously through your kids? Maybe I’m wrong but I do wonder…? My sons piano teacher once mentioned anther family to me who insisted in putting their son in for a graded exam even though the teacher said he was ill prepared and would fail. The mother told the teacher that he had to get the grade to keep up with his peers – the poor boy cried through the exam and failed. Isn’t that awful – is that really what some people think parenting is about?

    I want my boys to be happy, confident, curious, enthusiastic and kind. My eldest used 50p of his money to buy a pie for a homeless man yesterday without prompting and I thought to myself ‘ he is a better person than me already’ and for me, that’s pretty much it.

    I agree that happiness breeds success.

    Thanks so much Ross. I love reading your posts:)

    • What a fab response – thanks so much! I agree, also having seen parents who project their own aspirations onto their kids with stressful unhappy results. And what a generous young man you’re raising – what could be better than that!

  4. Exactly the same as you. It’s a no-brainer that strikes fear into the heart of the dictators of the schooling machine that feeds big business because it doesn’t feed the system in the way they can control the population. A national ( nay- world) of free minded critical thinkers. Hmmmn now there’s a thought. I thoroughly recommend reading or listening to anything by John Taylor Gatto for anyone who has arrived at your site because they suspect something isn’t quite right with the way we hand over our children to strangers in the name of education and let them fritter away their love of learning behind fences, high walls and closed doors. His insight made my hair stand on end. I found him on a book search after reading your wonderful book- a funny education ( which I totally adored). You set out the truth on a velvet cushion for the reader compared to the way he just whacks the ball straight at you. Your latest post, 3rd to last paragraph is going to be my mantra. What’s not to like for any parent? Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Have a great day. Caroline

    Sent from my iPhone


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