Goal-setting is something we associate with job performance reviews or academic settings, but considering how important a job parenting is, it makes sense to develop some parenting goals, too. Focusing on the outcomes of our interactions with our children can help us become more effective parents. Finding examples of goals for parents can illuminate what our own goals are.
List Family Priorities
One important goal for parents is to develop a family vision. Then this vision can inform more specific goals. An example of a family vision statement might be, "Our family values education, kindness and service above all things." Another family might choose, "Our family is here to help each member reach his or her fullest potential while still maintaining close relationships with each other."
Then Be Specific
"I just want my kids to be happy," is a pretty common saying among parents. Yet what does that mean? Imagine what it might take for the average 3-year-old to be happy all the time. All the toys would be hers, there would be candy for breakfast and Goldfish crackers for dinner and Dora the Explorer would be on TV all the time. That's not setting her up to be a happy or healthy adult. "I want my kids to grow into generally happy adults," makes a lot more sense as a parenting goal. You'll also need to decide whether this goal works well with your vision of your family.
Simplify Your Life
Another parenting goal might be to simplify your family's life so members can truly appreciate each other, their work or school, and their chosen hobbies. If your family vision stresses the importance of education, then maybe your children shouldn't join every after-school club available to them. If you find yourself at a lot of social events when you'd really rather be home with your family, you can make it a goal to turn down more invitations.
Between work, running the household and activities, many parents get stressed out. One parenting goal might be not taking that stress out on your children. You can practice counting to 10 before you react to a fight between siblings, schedule some time for yourself each week or meditate each morning. You can even make it a goal to reduce your yelling by 50 percent.
- Journal of Extension: Incorporating Parental Goals in Parenting Programs Through Collaborative Relationships with Parents
- PBS Parents: Saying No: The Best New Year's Resolution for Parents
- University of Florida Extension: Goals and Standards in Resource Management
- Child Development Institute: Family Mission Statements
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