How did you fare in your parenting goals this year?

If we do not cultivate a relationship with our children in the critical 20 years of their life, something else will and it may be undesirable. 

What you need to know:

When you were single, you hopped from one job to another without much care. Now that you have children, it is not as easy because you must make decisions that are in the best interests of your children.

Did you have parenting goals at the beginning of this year or are you like most parents who have none? Management guru, Peter Drucker says, “What gets measured gets managed.”

When you have a goal and you regularly measure your performance against it, you adjust the sails according to the wind and remain focused.

The year is coming to an end in a few days. It may have been a difficult one or a great one depending on the parenting goals you set for yourself at its beginning. Whatever has been or not been this year, you can use this Christmas holiday season time to improve yourself and your parenting role next year.

For a better analysis in order to arrive at a fair conclusion about the state of your parenting, you may want to get your children and the rest of the family members involved in this process because they are on your team.

Do not blame yourself

The results of your evaluation might not be very pleasing, but remember there is no perfect parent. So, be easy on yourself. Maybe you have been the one short on patience or the one feeling guilty for not spending enough time with your children or the one who rules over your children more harshly than graciously loving them.

Acknowledge you made many mistakes and there were many lowlights, but parenting does not come with a manual. You are learning on the job. So cut yourself some slack. Call the rest of the family together, bake some cake, pop the champagne, toast and congratulate yourselves for making it through this year. 


 Maybe you have been holding back in fear instead of taking bold moves and this has cost you good parenting opportunities. Parents can sometimes be afraid of confronting family situations and leave them to fester. Before you know it, they are out of control. For instance, you have been putting off the responsibility of reigning in on your wayward son, thinking it will somehow go away. No, it will not.

You may want to devise means to confront this situation in the New Year, but the boldness starts now. Ask yourself: What will happen to this child if I do not help him now? That should give you the push to make the critical decision now.  


Maybe you have not had the time for physical exercises this year. You have put on some extra pounds that you feel uncomfortable carrying yourself around. Or you have not been caring about your nutritional needs; you want to change from eating junk to eating organic food. Both are healthy goals. If you want to be in good shape going into the New Year, you may as well start now. Perhaps you already know what to do and all you need is to be decisive about it. Now is the perfect time to get a thorough medical check-up.

Express gratitude

Gratitude is like praise; only useful when it is given. Expressing gratitude to those who have stood with you this year is basic good manners. Write these people “thank you” notes, or poems, or give them a call today and tell them how much you appreciated their time, wisdom, money and time they shared with you and your children. You can take it further by buying them a gift. 


 It is the end of the year and you probably have accumulated so much you want to de-clutter your home of unnecessary stuff such as décor, furniture, clothes, and shoes, and rearrange the rest to give your home a fresh look and feel. You may want to donate some to friends and family or trash it, so you can start the New Year with little baggage.      

Manage your money better

 If there is anything that the Covid-19 pandemic taught us, it is to be frugal with the little resources we have. This means being financially disciplined to make it through these times while taking good care of our families. It is not too late to start saving and paying off some of your debts starting with the small ones.   

Read more and interact with other parents

 You are not an island and whatever you are trying to do, someone is doing or has done it before. As the year comes to an end, you want to interact with like-minded parents to learn from them how they have managed their families. You may also want to read a few good books on the subject and compare notes.

Assess your relationships

Have your personal and professional relationships been beneficial to you and your children or are they taking you away from your family? Do they agree with your values or are they opposed to them?

 For some, you will have to be bold and call time on them, while for others you may have to strengthen them if they had weakened this year. This may be the time to call up that friend or family member and apologise for mistakes you made and make up with them. It is too big a baggage to enter the New Year with beef with people.   

Review your career

 When you were single, you moved from one job to another without much care. Now that you have children, every decision you make should be in the best interests of your children.

Does your current job allow you time with your children or it take it away? While we want to make as much money for our children even if it means spending little time with them, no amount of money can ever replace a parent’s physical presence in their child’s life.

If we do not cultivate a relationship with our children in the critical 20 years of their life, something else will and it may be undesirable.

This holiday time may be critically important to make the tough decision to either quit or stay.