Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Goal-setting with kids

Well Happy New Year to all of you. It's good to be back home again. Today was our first full day back from vacation. We only traveled about twenty minutes up the canyon to my in-laws' home, but it felt like a great escape from real life. I was ready to come back home and dive right into our New Year's goals. For Monday's activity time, we decorated poster board in preparation for our family discussion of GOALS that night. We chose a goal to work on as a family and the girls each chose a personal goal (with help) to work on throughout the year.

And then I woke up this morning... and something went terribly wrong.

Not long after I rolled out of bed with high hopes and a plan for the day, my two year old had a meltdown over her binky which we're slowly taking away (she reminds me of Gollum in Lord of the Rings. It is her "precious.") I obviously didn't get enough sleep because I found myself slipping into a fog as I stared at my empty fridge, completely incapable of handling the morning routine. I couldn't stand the thought of making a meal that would be criticized and either left untouched or carelessly spilled onto the table and floor for me to clean up. And then just a few hours after that, I'd have to do it all over again for lunch. And so, on this first day back home with our goals written carefully in permanent marker on our fancy posters, my girls had Goldfish for breakfast (at least I can say that's a first). I retreated to the shower where I stayed until I heard one too many shouts outside the door. I hung out with my dear children while they watched a few too many cartoons and then a movie, and then during naptime I took another long bath.

And perhaps that's one of the most important reasons for setting goals at the beginning of the year: it's gives you something to come back to when a day like today hits you in the gut. I do have to say that in the midst of it all, my sweet Hazel remembered her goal to be better at chores and she cleaned up the rooms upstairs and made everyone's bed. That alone redeems this mess of a day and for that I'm grateful.

Here's how we did our goal-setting activity:

Like I mentioned, the girls and I had decorated these posters yesterday morning for our activity time. I helped Charlotte quite a bit with hers (okay, pretty much did the entire thing) because she was having mid-morning ADD, but Hazel did most of hers on her own and I think it helped her feel more excited for her new goal. She couldn't wait to write it down in the center of the poster, which I kept reminding her to keep blank for that night!

That evening, we talked about the definition of a goal and chose our own family goal. We didn't get around to decorating our family poster yet, so that's why it's so plain. We decided on our official Family Motto which I'll add to our goal poster soon. Here it is:

Phipps are kind
Phipps are brave
Phipps are obedient
...and Phipps love spicy food!


(Love that my hubby is wearing his new Carhartt's which he got for Christmas...)

Then we helped the girls cultivate ideas for their own personal goals. I was trying to get Hazel to choose "learning to play the piano" but out of nowhere she said, "I'm going to learn how to do chores. I really don't like to do chores and when I have to do them, I get mad. So I'm going to learn to do them better." My husband and I looked at one another in shock and just nodded in agreement. Brilliant idea, little one.

For Charlotte, we decided that she's going to learn how to ride a bike this year. She agreed.
We're excited.

We did read our scriptures this morning as a family even though I was sulking.
I have a lot of hope for tomorrow.
Happy New Year!

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  1. Good idea. We'll be doing that for FHE on Thursday. And like you, when I'm low on sleep, my children eat whatever they want.

  2. Janelle,
    You are truly fabulous. Can I come and be your neighbor?! I need you close so you can rub off on me!