2016 is just hours away and I’d like to share my own parenting resolutions for the new year!
RESOLUTION 1: ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT.
Here’s how I came across this resolution: In my Christmas blog entry, I wanted just two measly hours of family “harmony” for Christmas. In 26 years of marriage with a blended family, I had not yet found two hours of family harmony on Christmas Day, so I took a new approach – preplanning.
Want to know how it worked out?
FABULOUS! Not only did I get my precious two hours, but I got FOUR hours of family peace and harmony. All the kids. All the grandkids. It happened! My system worked. Preplanning worked. I was so proud of myself and it taught me a valuable lesson: If you want something, you need to ASK FOR IT.
How hard is that? Just put it out there. If you want it, just say it. Out loud. Subtle hints, nagging, complaining, sarcastic comments, osmosis does not work. Just say it. Speak the words. I’ll keep you posted how that works out for me, and I hope you’ll do the same.
RESOLUTION 2: DO IT. DO IT NOW. My second parenting resolution is going to be harder. You may have heard Miss Oprah has joined Weight Watchers and she wants you and me to join HER on this incredible journey. I suspect there are a few guidelines involved and I also suspect I won’t be able to eat chocolate, mashed potatoes or bread, but nevertheless one thing she did say this weekend jumped out at me. “If not now, when?” Does that grab you too?
“If not now, when?” Wise words, but I would expect no less from The O. From a parenting standpoint and especially for those of us who want our children to be successful in college, the “when” is the high school years. That’s the very best time (and I might add the last best opportunity) for you to lay the groundwork for your child to leave home motivated and full of self-confidence.
So “seize the day.” Pick one specific thing you’ll do to intentionally parent your children in 2016 so they are ready to hit the ground running on Day One of college.
RESOLUTION 3: My last parenting resolution is simply a promise to you. For the next 365 days of 2016 Steve and I will share on this blog everything we remember about our children’s high school years that prepared them well for college. (Plus a lot of things we wish we did!)
You see, I am on the other side. My three children have graduated from college and even graduate school. But the big news—the drum roll is—in 2015 the last child finished her schooling, got a job and miracle of miracles, is NO LONGER on our payroll! Halleluiah! Halleluiah! This is where the choir sings and you feel you have reached the Pinnacle of Parenting! You get the Gold Star and a Certificate of Completion! It is done! I do not know why there is no ceremony for parents at this stage? There should be!
Yes, I am a survivor! Now I want to share with you the things I did right and the things I did extremely wrong. I feel compelled to do this because those years were tough. I needed help but did not know where to turn. I don’t want that to happen to you. I want to be there for you.
My friend Steve wants to help you too. He has not yet hit the Pinnacle. He still has a child in college, but two have graduated and married. He is almost there. But his Positive Psychology degree, business ownership, and 12 years of professional coaching has given him deep knowledge and experience in rearing self-confident, motivated young adults. What he has learned and shared with me, helped me. It can also help you.
So stick with us and share your own experiences (good and bad – funny and sad), strengths (what got you through the white knuckle moments) and hopes (yes, Virginia, there is light at the end of the parenting tunnel). In 2016, your journey might just help someone else.
If not now, when? Ask for what you want. We can do this!
Please let me know your parenting New Year’s resolutions for 2016 in the comments section below.