Almost half a year is over in 2021 and it’s time to reflect on our parenting styles. The reason is that it’s becoming more and more clear that the kids are going to stay at home even this year too. So that means, we need to change our Parenting styles and act as teachers to our kids too. Parenting itself is a tough journey and if we have to wear the additional hat of the home teacher as well, it will definitely get complicated. Establishing clear Parenting goals will help us lead the stress-free Parenting journey with relative ease.
What are Parenting Goals?
Parenting goals are the ones we set up ourselves as parents so that we can raise happy and successful kids. Kids don’t come with manuals and we parents learn parenting on the job only. That is the reason why having a goal like this would help us do the SWOT analysis (identify our own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) of our parenting skills. So, having these parenting goals and revisiting them every now and then will lead us on the correct path.
Earlier before I started my journey as Kids Life Coach and started reading in depth about child psychology,
- I used always think that I will not yell at my kid,
- I will be a calm and fun parent,
- I will give him nutritious food for all the three meals
- I will complete all my professional work before the kid comes back from school,
- I will not let him use gadgets as babysitters, etc
It’s a huge list, isn’t it? These are the goals, I used to write in my mental map every Sunday, but start breaking them one after the other by Monday afternoon. Hence, the parental guilt used to override my emotions, and hence I would give a completely free hand to my kid over the weekends. And my mood would get further deteriorated due to that.
But during the pandemic, everything went for a toss. I had to stop my freelancing work to engage my kid completely. Even though I am next to him most of the time, his mental health started sliding down, as he is a single child. He was missing his friends and peers. That’s when I woke up to the early warning signs of his mental health deterioration and started reading on child psychology more. Luckily, I did few courses on children’s mental and emotional health which have helped me immensely.
Why we should set Parenting Goals for the stress-free Parenting Journey?
Those courses and workshops have helped me a lot to understand the importance of Parenting Goals and how actually they can help you during your parenting journey. In fact, the parenting goals convert your parenting journey into a stress-free one with relative ease.
As stated earlier, we all learn and grow as parents, when our kids are growing on the other hand. But if we happen to show our uncertainty in parenting to our kids, then they will lose their trust in us as parents. They will start looking for stronger anchors somewhere else in the friends and extended family circles.
We really don’t want that scenario, isn’t it? Then, in order to act as strong anchors to our kids, we need to keep improving our parenting skills daily. That is the reason why most of us read a lot of parenting books, take advice from our earlier generations and connect with fellow parents. All this would become irrelevant if we don’t constantly tweak and adapt how we react to our kids, isn’t it? That’s where the parenting goals are going to help us, by making us look like smart, super cool parents treading the parenting path with absolute ease and comfort. Hence, Parenting Goals are for every parent, who wants their kid to be just not successful, but also have a strong connection with their kids.
How to Identify your Parenting Goals?
Every family is different and so is also every kid. So our parenting goals for kids could be slightly tweaked for each kid. There is no harm in doing that. None of these goals are written in hard rock. It’s up to us as parents to tweak them as per our conditions.
Before we start writing our goals, we need to take a pause and answer the following sample questions.
- Which is the hardest part of your parenting?
- What is your style of Parenting?
- Are you solely taking care of kids?
- Do you need help to manage the kid’s time?
- Do you have enough time to recharge?
- Do you have a good bonding with your kids?
- What are the few areas where you are really worried and stressed about in your kids?
- What are a few areas or traits of your kids about which you are really proud?
Once you have answers to all the above questions, you can identify the top priority areas in which you want to start your work first. You might have additional questions based on your family circumstances and that’s also fine. They can be like:
- Your bonding with kids
- Your kids digital time
- Inculcating family values and culture
- Your power struggles with kids
- Your and your family’s fitness routines or self-care times
- The family rules and consequences, etc
Based on your time constraints, list down two or three top priority items and keep working on them. Once you start implementing with complete rigor, you would observe that slowly all the stress in your parenting journey starts disappearing.
How to set your Parenting Goals?
We need to follow the same principle of setting up SMART Goals just like how we do in our professional life. If you are following me closely on social media, you would know my tough time during the previous year. I had allowed a lot of digital time to overcome my parental guilt for my kid.
So, we were trying to come out that digital addiction after the first quarter of this year. Here is our example about how we went ahead setting the SMART Parenting goal of the Digital Deaddiction for my kid and the entire family as well.
SPECIFIC: We wanted my child to use gadgets only for online classes and family movie time and for a limited time during cricket matches. (I didn’t say that we want him to have a zero gadget time or less gadget time). No other gadgets are allowed. Similar goals were applied to both the parents as well.
MEASURABLE: Online classes duration is for 2 hours a day and family movie time is limited to only on Friday nights (again 3 hours at the maximum). During Cricket matches, the family movie time would be replaced with the cricket matches. Hence our gadget time is measurable and accounted for.
ACTIONABLE: We have the digital schedule chart made and stuck on the TV table. As a child, he keeps asking for more gadget time, but we are not yielding.
REALISTIC: This is the toughest part, as we understand that the kids need downtime, and watching the videos or playing online games will act as emotional pacifiers to him. So instead of allowing this to happen, we spend more time with him and try to act as my kid’s emotional anchors. His downtime could be spent amidst nature.
TIME BOUND: We have been following this for the last one month and we could see marked changes in my child. Now we are planning to revisit this rule and give him some additional gadget time for his research works and project works as my child wants to learn about a lot of topics and we don’t have books covering all the topics of his interests in the house.
Periodic Reviews of your Parenting Goals:
It’s always important to have periodic reviews of our parenting goals, just like how we do periodic reviews of our professional goals. We always do a review at the end of every month in our house and rewrite the SMART steps for each goal based on its progress. There might be new additions or deletions of the goals themselves also. While setting and reviewing the parenting goals, we need to also consider the stress zones in our parenting journey. We need to have the review checklist to review our parenting goals and our parenting approach too.
Having a set of these parenting goals has helped me to stay calm and focused as a parent. In short, these parenting goals have made me a better parent and converted my parenting journey into a stress-free one. They eliminated the unnecessary parental guilt in me and also the things have started falling in place with relative ease. When my goals related to the kid’s studies, food and habits have been explained to my child in detail, he also understood their importance and started to follow them.
So these are few examples of how the parenting goals worked for my success as a parent. What about you, are you using your parenting goals to set your child up for success? If you need any further help in setting up your parenting goals, you can book your free consulting session with me by clicking here. And, I will help you as the Parenting coach in this regard. If you want an in-depth session, please click here.