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The Family You Want

What is it that you want? What do you want your family to be like? How do you want your children to be? How do you want to be? How do you want your partner to be? How do you want your relationship to be? A lot of questions, I know.

But they are important ones, for your answers to them will form your existence. Make your answers as concise and as clear as you possibly can, and sit down with your family once a week to discuss these very important questions. Their answers will form their existence.

Most people sleepwalk, you know. Collectively, we come home, pop a couple of beers and sit in front of the TV, letting it feed us. We sometimes think that there is nothing more to life, but there is a part of us that knows there is more to life than the daily breathing in and out.

As we step into the challenge and engage ourselves, our partners and our children in the possibility of “something more,” we shift collectively, at least in our own homes, into a fuller human possibility. In case you did not realize, what we think about comes about. Talk with your child about this now at whatever age they are. Two is not too young. Expand on the question, “What do you want?” with each passing year, and you will grow a person whose dreams come true.

Passing this threshold ourselves, we transform and morph into a person who lives their dreams as if they already are, too. Our example leads our child to see and feel themselves acing their math test, turning in their report with pride for a job well-done, and having an abundance of happy, healthy friends.

And so your family flourishes. In your weekly family meeting you gush about the miracles that happened last week and declare how each wants the next week to go. Your family is a beacon to others who are bored of the nightly TV routine. Your family reads together instead, and discusses what could be rather than what is. And your family cooperates with each other during homework and helps with family contributions — your family flourishes.

All of this is not only possible, but highly likely as you simply start talking about and focusing on what you want and live from that place. Inspire your children to dream and imagine. Catch yourself when you say discouraging, albeit practical, words that take the wind out of their sails. Don’t be a dream stealer.

The ultimate goal is for our kids to want to be with us when they no longer have to be. Imagine no obligatory visits after they leave home. Imagine them wanting to see you when they are free to never see you again. When we foster their dreams and encourage them, they will want to be with us.

Our children are here for our growth. They come to us with infinite wisdom — look, they are only moments removed from Source, where we are decades removed. They have just emerged, and from my extensive experience as a counselor, parent mentor and relationship coach, I know that they are here to remind us of our possibilities.

So, expand into the being you once thought was possible, and let your child’s dreams inspire your own again. Blessings to you and your entire family.

Pursell has a master’s degree in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling, is a board-certified educational therapist, and author of “Affirmations for Kids & Parents” and “The 12 Secrets to Safe, Happy & Confident Kids” coaching program. She has been working with families since 1995. Email her at or visit her website at