Every New Year’s Eve my husband and I share our goals for the new year to come. “What are your New Year’s resolutions?” we ask each other. In fact the question has gone beyond private hubby and wife conversation to common party chatter and social gatherings in late December and early January. Now we are in the month of February, and we have either fallen off the goal-directed path or forgotten what we said we had planned to do anyway.
Why does this bad thing happen to well-intended, good people? Perhaps we are groping in the dark with a walking stick, trying to embark upon that direct path that will take us to our destination. However, good intentions alone will not lead us to our goal — our end result. Having a VISION along with that specific S.M.A.R.T. goal will help us to achieve and be effective adults in the lives of children (and in our own personal decisions as well).
Looking at last week’s goal of building a responsible child, our VISION of what a responsible child looks like will help keep us on our goal tract. Being able to visualize the end result will bring success in achieving this goal – any goal. When you visualize what a responsible child looks like, what are the qualities you might expect to see, both in the short term and many years ahead?
On Friday we will create the rest of the ACTION PLAN you are building for your special kiddo. Do you think having a VISION of what the goal outcome will look like help you to achieve your goal(s)? Have you ever used this strategy in the past? What examples of developing a VISION and goals to meet that mental picture have helped you in your child-rearing, teaching, grand parenting or even your own personal life?
‘Twas Christmas morning and who appeared at the hearth? Four little kids and one fluffy Palomino-colored pup. The children rushed to the tree, seeing presents galore and anxiously await their parents arrival with the green light signal to open presents. The youngest, Maya, is nudged to tap on mom and dad’s door. While Nick, the oldest, smiles to see the empty plate and glass they had left for Santa. “He ate our cookies and drank the milk,” said the youngest, David. Beginning to read as a bright little first grader, Jacob sees the note under the plate. It said, “Before you open your gifts, you must take presents of blankets and coats to people who have nothing on this cold Christmas morning. Merry Christmas. Love, St. Nick.”
Dad and mom arrived on the scene to find gaping children. No one dared to touch a single present. Looking at the written directive, dad said, “We better get dressed. We have work to do.” “Where are we going?” said the children, eyes alit. Not so sure they wanted to go anywhere. “You saw Santa’s note,” said mom, “we better hurry.”
The family loaded into the van, while dad packed up the blankets, coats, scarves and, of course, cookies. Destination: downtown Phoenix. Arriving on the empty city streets on this atypical, below freezing morning, they found many homeless grateful folks who welcomed gifts of warmth and sweetness.
Although the traditional Christmas and holiday season is past, these parents wanted their children to learn generosity and caring for others – especially those who had less. Beyond their vision, they taught their children how it should be done by doing. If we want our children to learn, they need to be shown and then to practice that activity.
On the way back home that Christmas morning, the parents talked about what they had done and praised their children for caring and giving to others before they thought of themselves. Praise and recognition for doing what is expected is also an important part of teaching.
Do you have a story about having a vision for your kids? How/when have you modeled the value and then taught how it should be done? Do you regularly practice the habits you want your children to develop? It can even be something simple like saying “please” and “thank you.” Please share your successes and strategies with our readers.