Often parents are so stressed by time and energy restraints that all they can think of is how to handle the challenge at that moment.
The challenge can range from leaving the house on time, getting homework done, getting ready for bed up to not knowing where your teenager is and your teenager is not answering their cell phone.
Unless you think about the big picture, your vision of your family, you won’t know if you are on the right track or not.
This could start with as little as 15 minutes where you write down or discuss what you want your relationship with your kids to look, sound and feel like at each developmental stage. Think beyond the teen years. Do you want to be a support system when they are in college, when they have their first full time job or their first adult serious relationship?
If you compare your vision to the reality, how are you doing?
The relationships in your family are an accumulation of every little interaction. If you are not happy with how you are interacting, pick one small thought and action to change. Maybe you want to work on being more patient. Even if you don’t know why you are so impatient, you can still start by counting to ten and giving your child a chance to act rather than taking over right away.
You will come closer to your family vision when you focus on changing yourself rather than on changing your children or your partner.
Having the courage to be self-reflective is key. When you reflect and make changes, you are creating a family that can discuss challenges and aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and grow. Perhaps you want to work on managing your own doubts and fears and realizing which ones are reality based. You could also focus on learning to listen or letting your kids spread their wings. These are skills that anyone can learn through dedicated practice.
One small positive change on your part will have a large positive ripple effect in your family. Just take one step forward.
I am here to support your growth so you can create your vision of what you want your family to be.
©2015 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.