Michelangelo said, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
Throughout our lives, it can be difficult to determine the best goals for ourselves. As my children get older, I also find it hard both to know how to advise them for the future and to know when to stay out of the way as they determine their own paths.
With kids who are now ages 14, 12, and 9, my husband and I have regular chats with them about short-term and long-term goals. Sometimes we have to challenge them to aim higher, and sometimes we have to help them be more realistic about their high expectations.
We always want to encourage our children to do well and achieve everything they can, without being too pushy or demanding about it. At the same time, we don’t want to see them set unreasonable goals that are not attainable and will do nothing but cause disappointment or failure.
Michelangelo’s words are helpful to me as a parent. It’s definitely better for my kids to set their goals high than to settle for something less. I’ll always be the pragmatic mom who reminds them to build in a safety net and not take too many risks. But I’ll always want them to aim high to achieve as much as they can.
As another wonderful quote by Eleanor Roosevelt says, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”