Help me give my children the best – not of trappings or toys, but of myself, cherishing them on good days and bad, theirs and mine.
Teach me to accept them for who they are, not for what they do; to listen to what they say, if only so they will listen to me; to encourage their goals, not mine; and please, let me laugh with them and be silly.
Let me give them a home where respect is the cornerstone, integrity the foundation, and there is enough happiness to raise the roof.
May I give them the courage to be true to themselves; the independence to take care of themselves and the faith to believe in a power much greater than their own.
See that I discipline my children without demeaning them, demand good manners without forgetting my own, and let them know they have limitless love, no matter what they do.
Let me feed them properly, clothe them adequately and have enough to give them small allowances – not for the work they do but the pleasure they bring – and let me be moderate in all these things, so the joy of getting will help them discover the joy of giving.
See that their responsibilities are real but not burdensome, that my expectations are high but not overwhelming, and that my thanks and praise are thoughtful and given when they’re due.
Help me teach them that excellence is work’s real reward, and not the glory it brings. But when it comes – and it will – let me revel in each honor, however small, without once pretending that it’s mine; my children are glories enough.
Above all, let me ground these children so well that I can dare to let them go. And may they be so blessed.