The year is winding to a close. Although it may sound cliché, it is a good time for reflection. Actually, I think this kind of self-reflection is helpful more than once a year but whatever works for you.
In terms of our parenting lives, self-reflection is hard — it can be difficult to remember and come to terms with our limitations. No parent is perfect (repeat that to yourself often 🙂 The good news is this: human children don’t require perfect parents to develop well.
I would argue that almost built into our DNA is a need for recognition and repair. Authors like Claudia Gold (The Power of Discord) suggest that the process of “missing the mark” and repairing our relationship with our children ultimately makes them stronger. That’s a hopeful message to start off the new year.
In that spirit, I’m offering a few suggestions and thoughts for reflection:
– What was one parenting strategy that worked well this year?
– What issues with your child kept resurfacing?
– How did your child change this year?
– How did you change as a parent this year?
Here are some of my highlights…
Parenting thoughts for 2023
Best habit: morning quiet time for self-reflection, prayer, meditation, journaling
Best parenting strategy/tip: knowing when to not say anything. Sometimes children just need time to vent without us intervening to “fix” everything. It’s okay for them to express difficult emotions (even in not-so-pretty ways).
Best nonfiction or parenting book: Autonomy Supportive Parenting by Emily Edlynn
Best thing to let go: worry about things I can’t control
Best self-care: same as Best Habit (listed above), daily walks and hot baths
Best way I changed as a parent: recognizing my kids’ need for autonomy and independence
Happy New Year!