Making Positive Changes in the New Year
For many of us, a new school year seems to offer the opportunity for making positive changes in our lives. As we are cleaning out our closets and/or working out to slim down our ever-expanding waistband, we also want to include our children in these plans. Here are some simple steps for doing this:
1. When you are setting goals, include your children in the process. The goal could be a family one like having a weekly family meeting to promote positive communication among family members. The goal could be individual to each family
member whereby each person supports one another through the goal planning and implementation process.
2. Set realistic goals with a plan for action. Considering the following questions will help to ensure good planning and positive outcomes for achieving those goals.
- What goal are you setting?
- What is your plan for success in meeting your goal?
- How will you evaluate your progress along the way?
- What things might come up that will be stumbling blocks and how do you plan to overcome these challenges?
- If you do have a setback, what will your next step be?
- How will you celebrate each small step along the way?
- What motivators can you put into place to keep you focused and working toward your goal?
3. Have a regular check-in (specific day(s) and time) to discuss goal progress. This not only helps each person to remain focused, but also lends itself to receive positive support and encouragement from family members.
4. When there is a setback (and there will be setbacks), encourage your child to move forward in a positive way. Making unsupportive comments only encourages negative self-talk for our children.
Life will be full of many challenges for your children as they grow older and, one day, live on their own. By helping them (while in the safe environment of your home) to learn to set goals, work through challenges and find success, they will learn to trust and believe in themselves. And as parents, what greater reward can we receive than our childrens’ knowledge to trust themselves and their abilities for success in their lives.