Same ole, same ole … we make New Year’s resolutions and break them within a few weeks. But I do believe one of the best ways to begin my year is with intentions. So I’m going to shift my thinking from resolute to intent. And I choose to do the best I can.
In keeping with that, I am going to write down my parenting intentions for the coming year, keep this list in a prominent place and refer to it frequently. Hopefully, being intentional about this list of intentions will help me bring them to life.
It will be my personal guilt trip. And you know as well as I do that I won’t be perfect, but with intention (and practice), I can and will do better!
So here is my list of my New Year’s Intentions:
- Be present. The less dependent we are on our phones, iPads and computers in front of our kids, the more they will learn that the real world is where they should spend their time. It also makes a huge difference in our ability to connect with anyone we’re with. If you’re interested in going back and reading a bit on creating deeper connections, here’s my June 26thblog post about Attachment and Bonding.
- Listen when my children talk. Only if we take our children seriously when they talk to us will we be able to understand how the fight with their best friend seriously impacted them. When we meet their gaze, actively listen, nod our head in understanding, will they feel confident enough to tell us when they are being bullied, harassed (sexually or otherwise), feeling desperate or just blue, not enjoying school, struggling with friendships, in pain. Making your child feel heard is very important in today’s world. So be involved, stay present and make sure they know they are being heard.
- Compliment, praise and appreciate my children more. We spend so much time telling our kiddos what NOT to do that we forget to praise them for the things they do right. Think about it … we all need those accolades so don’t forget to bestow them on your children as well. They deserve it, just like you do!
- Be the best parent I can be. It’s super clear that all our kids are different and there is absolutely no one correct way to do this thing called ‘being a parent’! Every child is different, and so is every parent. You do NOT have to parent like the next-door neighbor, your mother, your husband/wife or your best friend. Just be the best parent you can for your child. Understanding their needs, as well as your own, is a great way to begin!
- Reiterate the Golden Rule as often as possible. Kindness, especially in today’s very divisive atmosphere, is essential to living a happier, healthier life. My favorite rule is still the standard … Treat other people the way you want them to treat you. When we treat others with kindness, they will treat us with kindness. And that’s what makes the world go ‘round!
- Spend more time in nature. I was having dinner with a friend last week and when she said those words, I thought to myself, “man, she is so right on. More time in nature ALWAYS makes everything better”. Physical activity and sunlight are essential to a healthy body and mind – for us parents and our children! Did you know that sunlight (especially early morning sunlight) helps replenish your Vitamin D? Did you know that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to depression, bone pain, muscle weakness, fatigue and brittle bones? Welp, it does, so get outside and make sure your kids get time outside too! And while you’re at it, here’s a reminder about the Chemicals of Connectionand how they make a difference in your general well being and feelings of happiness.
- Leave a better future for my children and their children. I don’t talk about it nearly enough but plastic consumption is killing our planet. I am going to be more vigilant than ever before to reduce our waste, recycle everything possible, compost what I can, and be a better consumer. We all need to evaluate our impact on the planet but it’s very important to me to minimize my damage and set an example for my children. I sure hope you’ll consider joining me.
- Take better care of myself. I have always worked out but I seem to have been slacking a bit the past few months. I’m going to get after it again. What I know for sure is that if I don’t model that behavior, my kids won’t learn it. Including getting better sleep, eating right, taking time to pamper myself, whatever my body is telling me I need. We all get so busy being ‘moms’ and ‘dads’ and ‘caretakers’ that we forget to just be ourselves. I promise you, when we don’t take care of ourselves; we are not doing our kiddos any favors!
I’d love to hear about your New Year’s intentions. If you get a moment click here and share them with me and other readers in the comments section of this blog post. Thank you in advance!
Happy New Year to you, your family, friends and loved ones! Here’s to a 2019 where we are happier, healthier, kinder, more compassionate and better caretakers of our children, our relationships, our planet and ourselves!
And in case you didn’t know, I am a Certified Professional Coach. If you ever want to discuss issues you are experiencing within your family, creating a family mission statement, tools for creating deeper connections, the benefits of journaling, etc, sign up for a free 30-minute Discovery Session with me at www.calendly.com/bambi. We can see if my coaching style is a good fit for your family!
All my best,
Bambi Wineland is the mother of two internationally adopted children, a traveler, a Certified Professional Coach, and the Founder and CEO of Motherland Travel. Motherland Travel began by designing Heritage Journeys for families with internationally adopted children. The emphasis of those Heritage Journeys has always been on deepening family connections, building self-esteem and cultivating pride in a family’s multi-cultural heritage. Motherland Travel also uses the philosophies of transformative Travel for designing family trips with purpose – building rich connections, with each other and the world! Read more about her here >> http://motherlandtravel.com/