Have You Set Yourself Some Parenting Goals For 2019?
New Year Resolutions are notorious for falling by the wayside and perishing before the month is over. But honestly, isn't that because we get carried away in the spirit of the season and set next-to-impossible challenges for ourselves?
We all want the best for our kids and the new year seems like a perfect time to start setting goals so we can get the best that we want. We often resolve not to yell again, deal with our child more patiently, create more happy memories with them. Yet at the first sign of a tantrum, you may end up yelling, especially if you feel it's for their good. Not eating the veggies you made? You may stand at the table making dire threats until it looks like you are the one throwing a tantrum!
Set Goals, Not Resolutions
What if you were to set yourself some goals instead? The difference is, these involve setting some targets for yourself that you can achieve incrementally. And since good parenting is more about you than your child, however small your goals are, you will come out looking and feeling better about your parenting skills!
So how can we set goals that we can manage and lead to incremental gains, eventually adding up to a whole lot and synchronizing with our vision for ourselves and the kids? Here are some sprinkles of inspiration and tips on how to make the goals stick!
Keep it specific.
Subha Chandrasekharan, a mother of two tween girls, says that one of her goals this year is to visit older parts of her city Bangalore with her girls. "I'll make some great new memories with them and acquaint them to parts of this lovely city they haven't seen so far!" she says.
Why do we think Subha's going to do a brilliant job at this? Because she's decided on something specific and achievable. This makes the goal more purposeful than a vague statement like "I will spend more time with my girls."
Keep it positive.
Sometimes, a lot depends on how you frame your goals. Give a positive spin to your goal so it looks like something you want to do rather than something you have to. For instance, saying "I will take a deep breath and pause for a moment to respond, not react" will lead you to calmer, better decisions than "I won't yell ever again."
Keep it real.
If your goal involves getting your child to do something, remember that super ambitious goals are likely to fail because young children learn, engage and interact at different paces. So, 'Start teaching the alphabet' is a more realistic goal than 'Make sure they know the alphabet in a month.'
Keep it zen.
Nivedita Ramesh, brand consultant and mom of 15-month-old Sayuri shared something beautiful with us about her goals for 2019: "I like to think of myself as a recently reformed control freak and micro planner, so my new (non-) plan for 2019 is to let the day take me along, rather than me dragging the day and my screaming baby along a path that is supposedly the ‘right’ one, but which neither of us wants in the first place. In 2019, I want to be like my baby, approaching each day with a deep breath and a blank slate, watching it ebb and flow like a tiny wave in the giant ocean."
You can also define your goals and make them public, so you are incentivized to follow through. Follow our Instagram account and hear from parents who have shared their parenting goals for 2019. They range from minimizing screen time to maximizing time spent outdoors, nurturing a love of learning and teaching something new every week.
We would love to hear from you too. Just comment on the post and we'll help you stick to your goals with inspiration, gentle reminders and tips!
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