Goal setting is an important and serious step. This is where I think a lot of us struggle. We often do a lot of talking (and worrying) about things that might be wrong or might potentially go wrong but then fall short when it comes to actually planning for them or addressing them .
I take it as a personal challenge as a parent to always have several long and short term goals in mind when it comes to each of my three children. Over the years my husband and I have addressed this in a variety of ways. Sometimes we just talk about the goals, sometimes we write them down. I think you have to figure out what works best for you, but I will say this. Many more of my goals for my kiddos were accomplished when I had written them down.
Short term goals might look something like this:
- Find an occupational therapist trained in sensory integration
- Visit with my child’s teacher within the next week
- Find that book that I heard about at the conference and read it.
- Pull close parenting goal: work on including my child in my everyday routine cooking, cleaning, etc.
Long term goals look broader:
- I will have a consistent parent primary caregiver home with this child.
- I will work on moving this child further down the attachment continuum by focusing on pull close parenting.
- I will work on parenting to this child’s real age and not chronological age.
What I call “lifetime goals” are even more broad, but I think they are the most important in terms of truly setting a productive and purposeful tone in your home.
They might look something like this:
- Raise this child to be responsible, respectful, and fun to be around.
- Send this child the messages that they are inherently good, unconditionally loved, and that no problem is too big.
Again these are examples of what some of my goals have been at different times over the years. Yours will and should look differently. More importantly, yours will change as your child and you change and grow. As a matter of fact, every time you can look at a goal on your short term list and say it is met, you should immediately replace it with another. This is what keeps us on the path of parenting with purpose.
Take time today to think about and commit to several long and short term goals for each of your children.