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Oh the Places You Will Go…Goal Planning As a Family

 Weight loss, potty-train, get organized…what are your parenting goals this year?
Think about that for about ten seconds before contininung to read. Okay got it? Good. The goals or goal that you thought about is one that must be of some importance to you so I want to propose a new way to consider this first month of the year…talk about your goals with your child. 
Some of you may be saying “but my child is a baby”…my answer talk about your goals with you child. We often make very important decisions that impact our child’s development, well-being and schedule but we may not always bring them into the conversation. I want to offer a parenting child approach that is both mindful but interactive from a family standpoint. Obviously this idea will need to be altered based on how old your child is but there are many ways to get them involved.
 I have included ten of those ways below in a handy list for you. I want to implore you not to stop at January…do a monthly check in. See how your child feels about the course you are on. Do they want to change something? Do they feel like your family has had a victory? Do they feel bored with the goals and want to add their own perspective? Allow your goals to have a family theme and see how this year’s outcomes react to that concentration.
 Last year my three year old and I made a vision board for his behavior and learning goals. He loved pasting and coloring in the objectives on the paper and attaching photos to the cork board. Your creative interaction with your kid concerning the year can start the year off on the right track but also create fun memories and a nice foundation for 2018. 
1.) If you have an infant you can show them books that include photos or drawings of your goals. Read them passages from inspiring books like “Oh the Places You Will go” talk through your own goals and make songs out of the conversation. You can create songs by using the tune of recognizable songs that they may already know the tune to such as “the wheels on the bus go round and round” change it to”this year our family will go the the beach…to the the beach. Hand motions and clapping can make it fun.   
2.)  Make a scrapbook together. Kids that are toddler age love to tear from magazines…give them permission to rip out what looks like fun for them
3.) Allow your kid to help with something simple for 2018. Menu planning. A mid-winter break activity
4.) Ask your kid to write a wish list of something they want to be able to do better in 2018. Take off the training wheels, take a art class, go the library once a week
5.) Plan a family trip together. Get the whole family involved in adding to what the day(s) will look like. 
6.) Who can you give to this year? Allow your kid to chose the place for donations of their old toys, books, clothes. Get them involved in the drop off too.
7.) Allow your child to invite a friend from school over for dinner and include their whole family. This is a great way to engage with the families that your kid spends time with instead of meeting them the first time when a sleepover is requested.
8.) Take a wish walk. Get yourself bundled up and take a walk where you brainstorm fun things you hope to do and accomplish
9.) Make something. Get crafty with your kid and plan a family project. In February make no-sew blankets and exchange them with each other as a sign of love. Make a family painting together. 
10.) Make plans to celebrate! Save the date for next year to celebrate all of the things accomplished and the unexpected things that you all were able to do as well. Talk about what did not happen and how you feel about it. 
Tara Michener
Author: Tara Michener