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The Role of The Parent in 2021

education Aug 23, 2021

I graduated high school in 1994. An unforgettable memory during that year was  classmates arguing that it was the role of the school system to teach the children everything. Absolutely everything. How can that be feasible? I did not agree with that argument in 1994, and I surely do not agree with that argument now.

After two decades of days full of work and raising six kids, I have realized that the most important job I have is to raise my children to love Jesus. My purpose is to love my family and raise them up, “in the way they should go” (Proverbs 2:26). If I am not leading my family, then who is?

As for many of us, COVID gave us a chance to reprioritize, step back and smell the roses. This year, I challenge you to set goals as a family to bring success. 

Family Values

Do you and your family have a list of values you strive to live by? Attached is a list of values. This is one of my favorite exercises to perform with my clients. When you are finished writing your values, circle your top three or five. If you choose too many, you are less likely to keep them front of mind. If you are married, have your spouse do the same and compare lists. These lists should create a spiritual conversation as you consider if your values differ from your spouse's. Together, you will be able to prioritize what is most important to your family. After the exercise, ask yourselves if your personal and family activities align with those values. If not, make a plan to change as necessary.

Family Mission and Vision Statements

Time flies by fast. While raising our children, my husband wanted to buy a boat while we could afford it. His reasoning was so we could enjoy our lives with the kids on the lake. Before we knew it, the kids grew up and the boat never came. This situation taught me that we should not necessarily go into debt to entertain our children, but we should be intentional with how we parent and how we live day-to-day. As a family, I challenge you to write down a family mission statement and a family vision statement. They do not have to be perfect, but just do it! Mission statements can always be revised as necessary. Along with the list of your family values, keep these statements posted in an easy to view place. Comment below to let me know where you put them.

Family SMART Goals and Strategic Planning

In most occupations, you are probably accustomed to writing annual goals and objectives. You might spend quite a bit of time figuring out a plan of action to reach those goals, along with applying them to the workplace. I want to challenge you to do this in your family too. Start by prayerfully considering what you want to accomplish this year. Consider goals for personal and spiritual growth, friends and family, health and self-care, finances, career, physical environment, and social/fun. Think about where you want to be with these topics in the next 6-12 months and make a plan. The SMART goal model means that goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, I want to work fewer hours so I have more quality time to spend with my family. To accomplish this, I need a strategic plan. A strategic plan in this example would involve selecting the work I do more carefully and limiting the amount of time I spend working to a certain number of hours per day. Within one month, I will have my calendar blocked off with intentional activities to do with my family to promote quality bonding. These activities will affirm our family mission, vision, and value statements. By stating the goal in this way, I am writing out the SMART goal in a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound fashion. 

If you are a parent and you want to live life more intentionally, I encourage you to join us for our free public monthly prayer meeting, which always takes place on the third Friday of every month, with our next one happening on August 20th at 6am PT/7am MT/8am CT/9am ET.  You are also invited to join His Kingdom Matters, where we equip and support Christians to integrate their faith in all areas of life.

Looking for support living as a Christian in the world today?  His Kingdom Matters provides the resources and community you've been searching for, including a monthly prayer guide, lecture, prayers led by Dr. Dean, a live monthly group call, and so much more.  Click below to learn more!

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