I was listening to a podcast this week about setting goals for 2019. I don’t know about you, but when I think of goal setting, I typically think of my career, my finances, my health, and other areas that I can quantify. I’ll admit that becoming a better parent is on my list, but it usually stops there. I don’t take the time to think about what being a better parent really means to each of my kids.
There was something else the Kelly Thorne Gore said in her podcast that had me thinking.
“There are five weeks left in the year. Are you coasting until the end of the year? Please know that a lot of things can unravel during those five weeks when we coast.”
Hmm…an unraveling of the goals we’ve set because we are coasting. As I contemplated further that idea of coasting I realized that it means we’re going downhill and things seem easy. What happens when we reach the bottom of the hill?
There were seasons in my own parenting that I’ll admit I was coasting. These were the times when life was good and I would relish the season, take a deep breath, and relax a little in my focus. After all, my kids seemed to be doing the right things and there were no major family hiccups or push backs.
However, just about the time I was ready to deem my child mature, something catastrophic would happen that would send me spinning as a parent. “What was I doing wrong? Why the sudden change in their choices? I can’t believe I’m having to deal with this,” consumed my thinking. These are the times my heart would race, my frustration would flare, and I found myself grasping at anything that would put my teen back on the path toward maturity.
And the pattern I uncovered as I thought through the “how did we get here?” was that these were the times when I realized that I had taken my eye off the goal. I truly was coasting without any sense of urgency or intentional focus.
Being intentional in our parenting means we have a vision for the future. What are we really hoping for as our teen becomes an adult?
Are we focused on behavior, attitudes, faith, friends, or accomplishment? Is their happiness our ultimate goal?
Or are we encouraging them to become who God wants them to be with appropriate guardrails and boundaries in place while we solidify a healthy relationship?
So with five weeks left in 2018, I want to challenge you to set some parenting goals for yourself. Not the new year’s resolution type that will be forgotten in less than a month, but the kind of goals that will propel you into the future with intent. Goals for your parenting that will be quantifiable so that when your world does get hit with a calamity, you’ll know how to quickly get back on track.
Here’s a place you might start:
- What is going well right now with my teen? What are the areas my teen needs to grow in?
- What is going well in our relationship? Are there areas where I am too lenient, too strict, too involved, or too complacent?
- Am I in a place of influence in my teen’s life? If not, what steps can I take to make it safe for my teen to seek my advice?
- Am I spending enough time with my teen? What do we do when we are together? What changes, if any, should I make in this area?
- Am I gentle and kind or am I constantly nagging? If necessary, what can I do differently in this area?
- What else needs to change?
Where there is no vision, the people perish.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
Dare you to spend the next few weeks with God asking Him to help set you on the right path in your parenting.
“Let go…and Let God”,
If you know someone with kids 9-29, maybe a great gift idea for this holiday season might be a copy of With All Due Respect: 40 Days to a More Fulfilling Relationship with Your Teens & Tween. A companion option might be our online eCourse that accompanies the book where they will have opportunity to learn from moms who have been there.
And we continue to get positive feedback from teachers who have read it. Why not make your teacher gift giving easy this year?
Have a blessed day of gratitude!