Your children might not remember who feed them, but they will remember who plays with them – the person who consistently spends focused, uninterrupted time with them. This is one of the many reasons why parent involvement in child development is so important.
But playing with children does not always come naturally to adults. The repetative nature of child’s play is usually less appealing to adults and also quite tiring and time consuming. If this sounds like you or if you are looking for ways to stay present and engaged with your child, the first step is to set aside time.
HOW TO SET GOALS AND MANAGE YOUR TIME
Writing down your thoughts makes them more concrete and also helps sort out thoughts. So, take a pen and a piece of paper and ask yourself these 3 questions:
- What type of a parent do you want to be?
- How can you help your child best reach their potential?
- What are you naturally good at and how can you use that to engage with your child? (Think large and write down as many things – big or small – as you can think of. Examples can include things like “I am a good listener,” or “I can run fast,” or “I can make delicious sandwiches.” Everyone is naturally good at something, so think of at least one thing that you can jot down).
Once you have completed this exercise, it’s time to plan ahead. Don’t wait until the first of the month or until Monday. If you want to be a doer, then start NOW.
HOW TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS
- Start NOW
- Based on your answers to the above questions, write down a list of activities you can do together with your child.
- Plan out each day for 3 months. (According to science, it takes an average of 66 days to change any habit or create a new one.) Include one uninterrupted activity per day where you can be fully present. It can be as short as 5 minutes, but make it consistent and realistic for you. To help with this step, Download a FREE Printable Calendar I made for you.
- Write everything down so that you can follow goals and know exactly what you are doing each day.
- Find an accountability partner who can help you stay on track of your general goals. And for the activity – your child will most likely become your accountability partner as they get in the habit of doing the activity with you. 😉
- Remember that there will be days when you won’t follow your schedule and that’s perfectly OK. The important thing is to continue with your goals and make them part of your routine.
- Check off completed goals.
If you prefer using digital planning tools, then ASANA is a FREE, easy to use online software which is great for goal setting. As a stay at home mother, I don’t usually have the possibility to sit in front of my computer, so I use a hard bound planner instead. If you are looking for one, here are my favorite ones:
(***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, and if you decide to purchase anything from suggested links or companies, I may receive a commission. Recommended products are either things I love using or think would be helpful for you. Making your purchase using these affiliate links helps keep this site running, so thank you kindly!)
- Panda Planner Classic – This 5.25 by 8.25″ hard cover daily goal and gratitude journal for happiness and productivity was designed using research from positive psychology and neuroscience. It has 185 daily pages, 12 months, and 26 weeks. The best part about it? – It does NOT have dates so you can start whenever you want!
- Law of Attraction Life Planner – FCS Certified eco-friendly, weekly, happiness and productivity planner. You can find it dated or undated and it comes with a one year guarantee!
- Live Whale Planner – 8.3 x 5.5”, non-dated, beautiful leather bound agenda with 12 budget pages and made with 120 gsm thick paper (which means it can handle markers, pens, highlighters, etc). I love the whale design and the soothing royal blue color of the cover. Periodic inspirational quotes are also a plus.
I love to hear success stories, so please let me know if this goal setting exercise works for you!