If your time with your child is limited, the best way to ensure you have special moments together is to plan! Then chill out. Realize most of your plans will be usurped by the ubiquitous mess or unexpected interruptions and delays. But without a plan in the first place you will not regain lost ground. With a game plan you have half a chance of redeeming the time.
YOU NEED A GAME PLAN
Routines and habits you develop by choice will serve you well. We all have habits, just make sure yours serve you. Talk with your spouse about how you want your lives to look.
Consider these questions:
What do you value?
What do you want your children to learn?
How do you want them to behave?
Then PLAN your time together with the time you have available to make sure you are heading toward fulfilling these goals.
Have you ever heard of reverse engineering? This is how we accomplish what is important to us. We look at the end, what we want to accomplish, where we want to be, what we want to do...and plan the steps necessary to get there.
Plan times to reevaluate to see if things are actually working as you want. This is your life...you take charge and make it what you want it to be!
If you are a new parent, once your baby begins to walk your life will never be quite the same. Mobility adds another dimension to your need to keep a watchful eye out at all times. The best thing you can do is plan your day the evening before. Have toys or board books ready to pull out to entertain, plan a fun movie to put on when you need to get dinner, put paper and pens/markers (washable markers are a blessing!) along with some tape, in an easily accessible bin. Then it's ready to tape to the table or high chair tray to keep baby busy. Right when you need it!
The catch here is not to spend all your time planning. Just enough so you are all heading in the same direction.
Balance is key.
But please get a structure, a plan, formed and written down to help you organize your thoughts and make sure your time together doesn't fall through the cracks.
I'm really into planners right now. I've been looking at many planners to see what seem to fit my personality and how I organize my thoughts. I love to learn what the different ones offer and what I like and don't like about them.
Overall remember the saying... if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I don't usually use, or allow the use of, the word failure, because everything, even failure, gives us more understanding. But please work on planning each day. It will be a game changer for you if you start. Planning will help you succeed in accomplishing the goals and dreams you have for your life with your child...
And we all want that.
What do you think? Please put your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for joining the conversation...
Article by Ruth Grunstra
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Hi I'm Ruth
What is the biggest challenge you are facing with your child? My husband and I had the first of our 8 children in 1984 and our youngest in 2002. We've been married since 1980 and we are always learning new ways to engage our children. We would love to hear from you. Contact us and let us know what you have found that works and what doesn't, or ask me a question.
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