So wrote Philip Larkin.
I blog to make sense of all the noise. And there is more noise than ever. This blog is just more noise, I know. My noise.
Whilst my children are trick and treating (which I have always despised), I thought that I would write down – in no particular order – what I think that I should bequeath to my children before they leave home. Confidently, I know that I have missed many principles and events. Do please email me with your suggestions, so that I can update this list.
My experience of parenting is that children tend to copy what they see, rather than what they are told. This list, therefore, is an aide memoir for me to tick off.
But as Phil Larkin wrote, whatever I try to do, I’ll inadvertently mess things up.
- To know that they are loved.
- Physically healthy, as far as a parent can assist.
- To be mentally healthy, as far as a parent can help.
- Spiritually aware.
- Fun-loving, with some jokes ready to deploy.
- To have tried a variety of activities.
- To be able to cook some basic meals and to shop for those basics.
- To be able to wash clothes.
- To be able to manage their finances and their “paperwork”.
- To have an understanding of their family origins, but not to be beholden to them.
- Politically aware, though with an open mind.
- International in outlook.
- Hard working.
- To have a number of good friends.
- To understand bias in news reporting and sources.
- Safe online.
- Talents and interests examined.
- Environmentally conscious.
- Experience of alternative perspectives.
- Sound decision-making tools, with improving judgement.
- Sound – though fluid – values.
- A belief in lifelong learning.
- Reproductively aware.
- Content with their gender and sexuality.
- Creativity explored.
- Locally aware.
- Some musical skills.
- Understanding and pride with their bodies.
- Ability to read.
- Experience of earning some money.
- An understanding of death and their own mortality.
- To have failed – multiple times – and to have picked themselves up again.
- To have broken some rules.
- Not to have irretrievably fallen out with their immediate family.
- Some knowledge of history.
- Some words in a foreign language.
- Comprehension of team work.
- To be able to advocate for themselves and for others.
- To have been bored.
- To know when to lead and to know when to follow.
- To create energy for others, when it is needed.