The countdown to 2010 has begun.
Most of us spend some time reflecting on how we can make this new year better than the last. People make resolutions, determined to improve something in their lives. Parents often resolve to stop yelling, pay more attention, practice more patience, be a better role model.
I suggest, if you are pondering new and different resolutions, to think back over your past year’s successes – the things you already know have worked in your family – the times when everything just jelled – and resolve to continue doing more of the same.
When parents talk to me about a particularly challenging situation they are experiencing with a child, I always ask them to also tell me about the times that go well with that same child. What’s the difference between the frustrating day and the feel- good day? What is it their child is choosing to do during those positive times, what are the parents doing and then we work from there.
Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families calls this working from one’s circle of influence vs. one’s circle of concern. In our circle of influence we find ourselves positive, proactive, problem solving, focusing on what works. In our circle of concern, we concentrate on what’s wrong, what’s overwhelming, the impossibilities, and the negatives.
So this New Years, give it a try. Remind yourselves of what you’re already doing that’s working, that you know feels right and try to do more of it.
Then take the time to celebrate yourself – and your family – in confidence and assurance about the new year ahead.
Here’s to a positive and very happy 2010!