I like this time of the year and my brain goes buzz with new thoughts, exciting projects and planning. I love planning it is the execution that takes work!! Over the last few years though there has been an extra development that I need to take into account I have teens. Now, this isnt a terrifying thing that I quake about, walking on egg shells, being uncertain as to what I can do without upsetting them. No, the idea of considering my teens as I set goals is all about respect and consideration.
Our being consistent during childhood our children understand the idea of being purposeful, of having goals, and working towards what is important. Some of them are more specific than others but they have ideas about their own life. And I would want them too. The thing is, there comes a shift in our parenting when we move from making all the decisions to a place where we work together as a family. Both are right in the right seasons of life. If we give our young children too much choice and final say in the decisions of life they get this idea that life is all about them, but conversely if we dont give our teenagers any choice and input into the decisions of life they get the idea that they have the freedom to live their own life regardless of family. Isnt that interesting we all have a tendency to put self first!!
But in a family we need to grow with our children. At this time of year, as we are making plans, we need to stop and listen to our teens. What is in their heart for the coming year? What goals do they have (they may not have formalised it as a goal but they may well have some rumblings there that you can help them identify). What fears and anxieties do they have? How can the family help them achieve this coming year? How can they help the family achieve this coming year?
Note: I say teen but I am not putting a specific age of 13+ on this idea. This will be variable depending on the maturity of your child. The challenge is not to miss this area of our teens heart.