Have you ever heard of a parenting New Year’s resolution? It’s not the first resolution a person usually has- is it? There are plenty of resolutions involving weight, time, and perhaps income. But, I seldom hear of resolutions people want to focus on concerning their children. Today’s post will focus on a couple of things. The first focus is ideas for parental resolutions. The second is the most effective strategy to implement any resolution.
Simple identification of a clear cut goal is the first step to achieving your resolution. When thinking about your relationship with your child, what is an area you would like to see changed? Is it your attitude when they are misbehaving? Is it giving them more time to help improve their math grade? Is it accumulating more income to send your child to a private school? What is it you would really like to change/modify? Be careful though not to give yourself too many resolutions. Sometimes, when we spread ourselves too thin; nothing significant gets accomplished in the end.
After identifying the problem, what are the steps you can take to achieve the resolution goal? With my three examples above, maybe you would be willing to give yourself timeouts when you are feeling angry with your child or ask your spouse to help more with the discipline. Perhaps your family could cut back on the television time if your child is struggling in math (and devote more time to the subject). You could deliver pizzas to make a few extra dollars in the private school example or go back to school part time to further your own education/income. In the end, it comes down to what you are willing to do or what you are willing to sacrifice to make the resolution goal a reality.
The reason resolutions are difficult to achieve is because it is much easier to stay stagnant than to work hard. Here’s what I have seen working over the years with parents. Many of them don’t understand how great they can be. They get caught up in the doldrums of life and simply do not have a plan to improve.
Let me put this concept another way by giving an example. Have any of you watched The Biggest Loser? In essence, it’s a show where overweight people compete to see how much weight they can lose. The results are typically amazing. The television cameras only give us a snapshot of what is going on. The most successful people on that show had some things in common. For example, the goal wasn’t to “cut back” on eating. It was to only consume a certain amount of calories in a day. There’s a big difference! The goal wasn’t to jump on a treadmill, turn it on a while; then have a snack. The goal was to be pushed to their limits by trainers. One way seems to be successful while the other is a failure. Care to guess which is which?
I am convinced all of us can be better parents. But, in order to do so, we must have clear cut goals and a clear cut plan to make it happen. If those things aren’t in place, we can’t expect much more than what happened in 2011.
I wish you well with your resolutions and I will write to you again next Friday. In the meantime, take a look at my site for more great articles, place your email in the box and never miss a post, share this post with others, and feel free to leave a comment.