Why is it easier to have goals at work than it is at home?
Have you ever thought about that before?
Most corporate jobs are jam-packed with goals. You have weekly goals, monthly goals, quarterly goals and even annual goals. When you meet with your manager, you talk about your individual goals. When you have big meetings, you review the company’s goals. Goals rule the day at work!
That’s not the case when it comes to parenting. We might try to take our kids out on special days once a month or do a better job with their birthday next year, but there’s a real natural resistance when it comes to parenting goals.
I’m making more in our house right now because in five years, we’re empty nesters. In just five years, my youngest daughter will go to college and it feels like the clock is really ticking. One of my favorite goals is a little weird, but I wanted to tell you about it anyway.
My new goal is that I want to be the kind of parent where my kids can tell me weird things.
That’s it. That’s the goal. What does it mean? Where did it come from? Well, I noticed one day that my kids would start conversations with me with the phrase, “This is weird, but . . . ”
That might not seem like a big deal, but it means they feel they need a disclaimer before we talk. Conversational disclaimers say a lot about your relationship. If your kids say, “Don’t be mad, but . . .” it can mean they expect anger from you when they bring things up. When they say, “I know what you’re going to say, but . . . ” it can mean that they’re afraid you’re going to shut down some idea without really listening.
It’s important as a parent to take note of the conversational disclaimers our kids feel they have to use.
Now, I listen to not just what my kids say, but how they say it. Do they need a lot of disclaimers? If so, maybe I need to do a better job creating a space where they can say anything. I know they’ll tell their small group leader different things than they will tell me. That’s why at Parent Cue, we want parents to, “Widen the Circle.” It’s important to have other trusted adults your kids can talk with.
But when they talk with me, I want them to feel like they don’t have to use conversational disclaimers.
It’s my job to make sure they know that.
Which might seem like a weird goal, but . . .