As you rang in the New Year, what was on your mind? For most people, it was the resolutions, the new habits, or new goals they will pursue as the calendar page turns. It is rare you find a person who doesn’t have some sort of new goal or habit they want to attain.
Did you know that 90% of new year’s resolutions have something to do with health: physical health, mental/emotional health, or financial health. And while improving your health can certainly impact your life, what if you focused on a habit or goal that had generational and possibly, eternal, impact?
Whatever your goals are, as you spend time reflecting on the past and deciding what changes you will make in the new year to reach your goals, you’ll certainly do the small tasks to help you be successful: find accountability, join a gym, set an alarm, toss out the old habits, and aim to start new.
Have you ever done this with your parenting?
The way you parent your children will not only impact their lives but will also impact the choices they make in how they raise their children.
Have you ever taken an objective look at your parenting methods? What is working and going well? And what do you keep feeling frustrated about? What behavior(s) do you keep struggling with in little Johnny? What attitudes do you keep fighting with teenage Susie?
Parenting should be goal oriented. Psalm 127:4 says children are like arrows. What do we do with arrows? We place them on a bow, pull them back, take aim, and let them go. Where are you aiming your children? Is your parenting style goal oriented, keeping the end in mind?
Without thoughtful goals, the busyness of life with children will leave you playing catch-up. And if we aren’t careful, the years speed by without intentionally shaping the future of those we are raising.
What if we did a yearly inventory of our parenting methods, styles, and goals and set out to learn and grow as parents so we can teach, train, and model for our children “the way in which they should go” (Proverbs 22:6)?
When my husband and I sit down to reflect on the past year, we take a look at what worked within our family and what we could improve upon and here are some areas we talk about:
- Family rhythms, habits, and chores
- Making memories as a family
- Sibling dynamics and conflict resolution skills
- Family spiritual growth and discipleship
- Teaching what they need to learn before they leave
- Emotional intelligence and growth
- General behaviors and how they reflect the heart
- Setting and living family values, expectations, and rules consistently (overall family culture)
- Preparing ourselves and our kids for good but hard conversations
- Parenting consistently and unified
Parenting the next generation is a daunting task. If the weight feels like too much and you find yourself often delegating or ignoring these tasks, I get it. Parenting takes intentionality and grit as well as hands that are open – open to what God is going to do in their lives despite your best intentions.
Grab the free Parenting Self-Assessment Tool here, and let God reveal new areas of growth for your parenting journey.
And then check out the 10 workshops I am offering, covering each of the above topics in details in my private Facebook group. You’ll learn how to be an intentional parent, raising the next generation of “Daniels & Esthers,” disicpling their hearts and equipping their minds to live boldly and courageously in today’s world.