We like to talk about planning, especially this time of year. As we begin 2013, many of you reflected on the past year and are making goals for the new one. You are deciding what habits to add or eliminate, what accomplishments you’d like to make, and how to spend your free time. But, if you have children, have you discussed planning with them? Are you settings goals with your children?
I remember when my two daughters were in high school; we would have a special dinner the night before each new semester. This time together was often at a quiet restaurant where we could focus on the goals for the upcoming months. We would ask our girls questions such as:
- What do you hope to accomplish in your classes and extra-curricular activities this semester?
- How will you budget your time for studying, work, church activities, etc. Are there adjustments that need to be made this semester because of difficult classes, sports, etc.?
- What personal goals are you setting this semester? How may we support and encourage you?
- How may we pray for you this semester?
These questions could easily be adapted for younger children; it is never too early to get your child thinking about what they want to accomplish in life. Try going around the dinner table and asking everyone to list one goal for the month/semester/year.
Also, it is just as important to evaluate these goals at the end of the time frame you selected. Discuss:
- What went well this semester? What goals were met?
- What didn’t go well? What changes need to be made?
- What did you learn about yourself this semester?
- What unexpected or unplanned thing happened?
- How may we celebrate with you?
And be sure to celebrate! Go to the movies, cook a special meal, or attend a sporting event- don’t let even a small accomplishment or met goal pass without acknowledging the hard work and sacrifice by your child!
How do you discuss plans and goals with your children? What ways do you acknowledge and celebrate accomplished goals! Let us know- YOU are the experts! I hope 2013 is a fabulous year for you and your family!