Tag Archives: vision


A bowl full of berries.


Since you have created a VISION for areas of development for your child’s future (see my first post in January 2011), you have clarified and articulated specifics about her/his adult life. Earlier you also wrote a S.M.A.R.T. goal that was Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  You are now ready to create and ACTION PLAN to drive you toward goal success and building strong, capable young people. 

Writing an ACTION PLAN is as easy as eating a bowl full of berries, once you have the template.  Divide your paper/EXCEL sheet/or WORD document into the following columns:

         GOAL :    My Two yr. old grandson will learn to love books.                                                                                                    

         ACTION:  I will take him to story hour at the library. We will talk about the story read.      

         DATE:   We will attend the story hour sessions once a week.


                    By June 2011, he will choose two books to take home.  We will have a special place for his books at home.

A goal does not need to be complex – the example is a short, simple ACTION PLAN.  However, you can see the elements of the S.M.A.R.T. format:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. When you develop an ACTION PLAN for building the character and future of that special child(ren) in your life, you are on the path to helping a kid achieve success. You are also creating a better future for all. With your ACTION PLAN you now know where you want to go and how you will arrive.  You can model and teach with ease. It can be as easy a bowl full of berries, once you have the steps!

How can ACTION PLANNING help you with your children, children you know, even your own personal daily living?  Have you ever followed a similar plan in the past?  What worked especially well?  Did you find you needed to change your plan? 



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.


Looking to the Future
You are here because you want to make the future the best it can be through hope and high expectations for youth – yours or someone else’s. HOPE does spring eternal when adults reflect their expectation for moral strength, success and responsibility. All kids are capable of success given the right set of circumstances.  We have nothing to lose if we expect the best, while so much is at stake if we don’t.  

First and foremost, parents hold the top spot in the pyramid when it comes to influencing their children.  A strong parent is a golden thread to the future of every child and our nation. Along with strong parents, kids also need significant other adults in their young lives. In many cases, as recently identified by Jennifer’s blog comment last week, a significant other adult is all some children may have. Families are often greatly stressed in today’s world and structures may deteriorate.

Our kids, however, are always watching, and listening to more than we may realize.  So our job, especially as parents, as well as other significant adults, is to create a VISION of what we expect of our children in the future.

Here are a few tips on how to navigate the vision-building journey that may help you to set the stage for the future and be a KID-HERO.  Take a blank piece of paper and entitle it, “Kid Vision.” This can be done by any significant adult in the life of a young person. In the first column list the following categories: (1) young person, (2) others, and (3) life’s work/career.  You may rename these categories or add a few more, depending on your sphere of influence. This is a working copy, a brainstorming sheet, and is not set in stone.

In the second column on your page, list the OUTCOME of your dream for this child in each of the categories. Teachers, mentors and family members can easily do this exercise as well. Dream big and make sure your expectations raise the bar. Put your paper aside and look at it again in a day or two to see if you have touched the key components of your dream for your special kid. 

Congratulations! You have begun a very valuable and significant journey. If you can see it, you can do it.  It would be great if you could share your kid dream or experiences with VISION BUILDING.