By: Abby Glaser, Community Advocate
Can you feel it? The days are getting longer. The temperatures outside are getting warmer. Spring is in the air, and spring is the season for fresh starts. Even parents need a fresh start sometimes...
Every time I sit down to write a blog post on parenting or begin teaching a parenting class I always feel the need to clarify that I’m not an expert. Most people already know this but you’d be surprised at how many think mother of five children equals expert!
One of the interesting things about my current stage in life is that I now have two adult children living out of my house and three still at home. So I’m starting to hear from the older kids areas they feel I could have done better and I have the opportunity to make some of those changes now with the younger kids. While my big kids will often lament about how differently we parent their younger siblings, my response is always of course! Just like them, their dad and I are always growing and evolving and trying to do a little better than we did before. In some ways one of the gifts of having multiple children that span a ten-year age gap is that we get ongoing chances to pivot and do better. I often hear from parents in coaching that they feel stuck or in a rut with their kids, especially teenagers. I’d like to offer a few ways to pursue a fresh start!
S- Specific: this will help you know exactly what you need to do.
M- Measurable: This will help you know if you are making progress.
A- Achievable: This will ensure you don’t set goals that are impossible.
R- Relevant: This will help you stay on task!
T- Time bound: This gives you a way to measure when you have met your goal!
You may need to seek professional advice depending on the areas you want to change. Sometimes we need to learn new tools! (And if you’re not sure where to get that, we can help you!)
At the end of the day, sometimes a fresh start just means trying something new! We can be prone to doing things the way we’ve always done them… but that nets the same outcome! Our willingness to learn new tools and try new things with our children can net big results in the long run!
Need a fresh start in parenting and not sure where to start OR just looking for some growth in your parenting abilities? Encompass Connection Center offers a free parenting assessment, as well as several other resources for parents looking for skills reinforcement, encouragement, and accountability.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.