Saturday, January 4, 2014

"What Ha happened Was..."

Last year I began parenting two critical and equally frustrating stages, a toddler and a teenager. Here is where you begin to feel sorry for me. Both stages have something in common, tantrums! Double time on the drama and tantrums because mine are girls. Also, I'm convinced that teenage tantrums are superior to toddler ones. They may not wallow on the floor like toddlers, but that's only because they are professionals. 
     When in doubt, lecture! That's my auto default as a parent. I was mid lecture addressing the teenager, and was smacked with something simple and smart. Here is how it went down. My eldest had been floundering all day. I was aggressively explaining (ha!) the importance of staying motivated, and having a plan for one's life. After much speaking (and some arm twisting) I had her tell me her plans for her future. I was impressed, and surprised. She had actually given the topic thought. Her dream is NOT to run off and join a screamo band. That's a relief! I think she was surprised that everything I've been telling her via lectures, conversations nicely supported her vision for her life. In other words she learned that her parents want what's best for her. 
     Confronted by this new revelation, and common ground we both deactivated our weapons. I filed the lecture, and she the blank "in one ear and out the other" stare. For now, we are partners on a mission. I'm attempting to guide toward her dreams. As it turns out, her reaching her dreams is one of mine. It's "win win" situation.
Now where do we go from here?
     Enter that "something simple and smart" idea I mentioned earlier. It dawned on me that at thirteen years old, a plan for 5 years from now might as well be forever. She'll feel like she'll never reach it. That thought made me think much smaller. We defined her long term goal for clarification and directional purposes, but we'll used short term goals to get there. We are making long range plans with short range targets. Really, really short range targets.  In 2014 we'll find, and focus on what she'd like to accomplish in this year, by month. Each month she'll try to achieve something that's significant to her. That's it! That's the "smart and simple." Hey, I never said I invented a new idea! I just like the simplicity and sensibleness of it. I liked it so much, I decided to implement it on myself.
Every month I'll try to accomplish something that matters to me. At the end of the year God willing, I should have done 12 things. I intend to share with you what I'm doing, or have done each month. If it's something too weird or personal then I'll spare you the details.
Anyhow, I have two ideas for the rolling around in my head for January. No, I'm not telling you what they are yet. Stick around, God willing, you'll find out soon enough...

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