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The 10 Parenting Goals That Will Help Every Child

Parenting goals is something that children need.

Every parent fears not to screw things up. We all have doubts ever since we find out we will have a new family member. We always wonder if we would be good enough for our kids, if we would manage to teach them the right things or help them become adults with heads on their shoulders. We wonder if bedtime will be respected, if we will manage to convince them to eat their vegetables or if we will have difficulties taking the tablet out of their hands.

Sometimes, we feel that no matter how much we do for our kids, it’s still not enough, because we want to give our all. But there is a simple way that prevents us from going crazy with endless thoughts on whether or not we are doing parenting the right way: creating attainable goals. A mental checklist with all the things we must do and teach our kids is a good way to start and here are the 10 most important parenting goals.

1) DON’T GET DISTRACTED

One of the most important parenting goals is to not get distracted.

Juggling work and family is tough. Often, we come home from work feeling tired and not in the mood to listen to our kids’ problems. They want to tell us how their day went, how many new friends they have or who is giving them a hard time. With so many responsibilities and worries, our attention tends to go to every direction, losing focus. Instead, our goal is to pay attention to details. Notice when our kids seem ‘off’, when they show concerns and when they need our support. It’s important to see the signs and not just search for them once the problems escalated and we are left wondering where we were all this time. Most of the problems start small, but if we ignore them, a snowball effect could occur, which would require major time and dedication on our part.

2) PREPARE YOUR CHILD SOCIALLY

Parenting goals are all about teaching kids social skills.

Of course, every parent wishes his/her child to do well academically. Good grades, plenty of talents, medals. However, we must also help children foster social skills. School is so much more than just getting straight A’s – it also teaches children how to bond with others and how to form friendships. Developing these skills will help them later on in life, therefore it’s very important not to just turn them into mini workaholics. After all, all work and no play makes them dull kids and an unhappy child is less likely to have high grade. The best way to do that is by establishing house rules which they need to follow, while they would also learn about the consequences of not respecting them. Meals and bedtimes establish stability, as long as your kids stick to them. As parents, we also must teach kids about empathy, about relating to others and trying to be more sensitive to the world surrounding them. If they are increasingly frustrated with a situation, instead of blocking the negative feelings, we must teach them how to vent their anger without hurting others, understanding where they come from and how we can help them to calm down.

3) TEACH KIDS HOW TO BE INDEPENDENT

Important parenting goals require kids to learn about responsibilities.

The more skills our children gain, the more self-sufficient they become. As they practice their abilities over and over again, they grow confident in what they can do. Kids take great pride in that and your role as a parent is to encourage them, giving them more and more responsibilities, as time goes by, so that the self-esteem flies off the charts. You can start small, like teaching them how to pick their own clothing, how to prepare their own school lunch, wake up by themselves or clean up their rooms after they are done playing. Stop being that parent who always takes the food to their room or who always monitors children during their homework. Micromanaging children can have the opposite effect – if you are always there, not allowing them to breathe, you can end up turning them into kids who lack the confidence to do things on their own. Instead, instead of helping them, let them help you and don’t be discouraging even if they didn’t do things perfectly. They tried cleaning the room, but missed a spot? Don’t be nitpicky about it, otherwise next time they might stop cleaning the room altogether.

4) SAY NO TO SUGAR!

children-soda

Sodas and fruit juices are still widely used, even though we are well aware of their dangers and thankfully enough, their consumption is in decline. Our mission as parents is to avoid exposing our children to sugary beverages, because sugar is one of our biggest enemies when it comes to diseases like obesity or even sleep disorders. Make this dietary change early on, before it’s too late. Teach your kids to accept water and to use actual fruits if they want fruit juices, instead of buying one full of additives from the supermarket. Diet drinks are just as unhealthy, so stick to water and fruits. Your kids might not take it lightly at first, but as they grow older, they will feel grateful for not letting them slide.

5) LIMIT THE SCREEN TIME

Avoiding too much screen time is among parenting goals.

Sometimes parents don’t always demand their kids to turn the TV off or to stop playing on the tablet, simply because it’s a practical way to keep them quiet – and we know that sometimes that is really hard. However, multiple studies show that too much screen time can be dangerous, leading to sleep disorders, obesity and even an attention deficit, since paying more attention to the TV means paying less attention to everything else which matters. Even though video games help develop dexterity and depending on the game, even logical skills, you can’t compare them to the physical benefits of a bike ride in fresh air, for instance.

6) SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH THEM

On the list of parenting goals is also playing with your kids.

Quality time is something that a child can never have enough of. No matter how busy or stressed out you are, never forget to enjoy your children’s company, by going out for a walk, playing board games, drawing or cooking together. Try to be more imaginative then putting a movie on, because that actually means being together without actually being together, since you would both focus on the action, instead of interacting with each other. Forget about the excuses – you don’t need to have hour-long activities. Instead, think of quality over quantity and take advantage even of car pools to have meaningful conversations with your kids.

7) TEACH THEM THE VALUE OF WORK

Teaching kids the importance of work is among the parenting goals.

Because kids look up to you, you should take advantage of your life experience to give them important lessons, like, for instance, work ethics. Use yourself as an example – talk to your kids about your work accomplishments, about the things you do, about the importance of your obligations. Put emphasis on how work turns you into a responsible human being and how it gives you the chance to save money to put bread on the table for the family. However, if you want your kids to follow your path, make sure you are not stuck with a job you absolutely loathe – after all, if you don’t like what you chose for yourself, how can you expect your children to pursue their dreams?

8) DON’T HAVE ARGUMENTS WITH YOUR PARTNER IN FRONT OF YOUR KIDS

It's among the important parenting goals not to argue with your partner in front of your child.

Relationships have the occasional disagreements – it’s normal for them to occur and not to always be on the same page. Life is overwhelming and sometimes we end up saying things we didn’t mean, in the heat of the moment. It’s important however that whatever happens between you, it happens behind closed doors, where your children can’t see or hear you. Keep a decent tone when arguing, because two distressed parents can have a negative impact over their children’s lives. Not only might they emulate the things they’ve seen, later on in life, but they can also become highly affected by what they witnessed and that’s something you need to avoid at any cost.

9) THINK FIRST, TALK LATER

Not venting frustrations with the child is on the parenting goals list

Again, this is in the same vein as the previous parenting goal. Don’t let the frustration inside you take control and don’t let your words fly before your brain rationalizes. Children will never forget your words of anger, even if they sometimes seem ignorant to your pleas to wake up, as if they were not listening. But listening and paying attention are two different things and when it comes to venting out inappropriate and harmful words, they take notice.

10) BE CONSISTENT!

Being consistent is one of the most relevant parenting goals.

When disciplining your children, be consistent and never change versions. Don’t let yourself influenced or manipulated, otherwise you won’t have any more credibility in front of them. If you told them that it’s time to go to bed, stop letting those “15 more minutes” happen, otherwise you won’t have authority in front of them and they will see you more as a friend than as the mentor they need. Regardless of how much you love them, they need to know that when you say something, you mean it. This is how respect is eventually built.

What are your parenting goals?

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