Raising your child is truly a one day at a time effort. Some days are better than others but you should never feel like you're failing as a parent. Ask yourself a set of questions daily to celebrate today's successes and overcome any hiccups you run into tomorrow.
Did I Spend Enough Quality Time with My Child Today?
Quality time with your family doesn't have to be centered around an expensive vacation or a trip to a famous theme park.
Make the most of your family time every day that even the busiest of families can incorporate into their daily routine.
Did I Nurture My Relationship with My Significant Other?
Parents often say their kids are their number one priority. After all, we have 18+ years of work to do to get each one ready for the real world. But your relationship with your significant other must be a priority too. Connect with your spouse every day and keep your marriage happy even with the kids ruling your days.
Did I Take Time for Myself?
Stolen me-time moments help keep you refreshed and ready to take on the next parenting challenge. Without some well-deserved time for yourself, you can easily become a disgruntled parent who's frustrated and not enjoying your role as mom or dad as much as you should be. Take time for yourself not only to get a break but to nurture your own emotional health too.
Did I Help Foster My Child's Independence?
It's adorable when tiny tots cling to your leg because they love you so much they don't want to let go.
We need to help our children of all ages by encouraging their independence. Your everyday tasks set you up for perfect independence lessons. From playing alone to letting the kids help take out the trash, they not only feel like big kids, they feel a huge sense of accomplishment.
Was I a Distracted Parent?
Were you distracted by your phone, Facebook or your mom friends?
You may not think so but a recent survey shows 62% of kids between the ages of 6 and 12 feel their parents are distracted. So when it's time to play board games or simply listen to your kids talk about your day, hide your gadgets, unplug your phone, turn off the TV and give your kids your undivided attention.
Did I Help My Child with His Homework?
Get your kids to love school with a little help at home. No matter how busy you are with getting dinner on the table, tucking in the littlest ones and getting everything ready for tomorrow, make the time to help your child with his homework. By being involved, you build in some of that quality time with your child and you can help make homework fun instead of a chore they know they have to do by themselves.
Did I Hug My Child and Tell Him, "I Love You"?
A simple hug and three special words can stop the sands of the hourglass, at least temporarily. Your kids grow so fast and it's important they know every day how much you love them. Older kids may resist but a quick hug and an "I love you" should still be a part of your day.
Did I Limit My Child's TV and Computer Time?
Too much screen time is eating away at the one-on-one time families of the past used to enjoy with each other.
Set effective screen time limits so your kids are not constantly sitting in front of the TV or zoning out with their tablets. Break out a deck of cards, go for a walk or hit the playground to get away from those gadgets and sneak in some family time instead.
Was I Constructive in My Discipline Methods?
Not every day as a parent is going to be glorious with you feeling like you should run up a mountain and start singing show tunes because you're so happy. Kids are going to misbehave and push boundaries. How you handle your role as disciplinarian makes a huge difference in how your children react and how you feel afterward. Discipline your children the right way so your children learn in a constructive way and you don't feel guilty about your own behavior.
Did My Child Use His Imagination?
Your child's imagination can open up a whole new world of playing and a new way of thinking.
Give your kids plenty of opportunity to explore their imagination every day. There are many imaginative ways to play that include everything from an imaginary vacation to a fortress built from plastic cups.
Did We Read Together Today?
Foster a love of reading when you crack open a book with your kids every day. And you don't have to wait until bedtime either. Read during the day and make it a part of playtime. Kids can dress up in costumes, act out the book or write their own sequel. There are plenty of ways to make reading fun for kids.
Did My Family Eat Together?
Study after study has proven the importance of family meals. Even with a hectic schedule, you should still make your family meals a must so that you can gather around the dinner table, reconnect with each other and strengthen your family bond.
How Many Ways Did I Show My Child How Much I Love Him Today?
A quick, "Have a great day!" as your kids get out of the car at school, a simple note in their lunchboxes or a surprise trip to the ice cream store after school are easy ways to show your child how much you love him. What you think are little acts, such as throwing the ball around with your kids in the backyard or patting them on their heads as they grab a snack and run off to play with their friends, actually speak in a loud volume to your children.
Was I a Role Model for my Child?
Sometimes we get aggravated in front of our kids, not necessarily at them but with the many frustrations life sometimes throws our way. Were you a good role model today because those eyes are always watching you. From your reaction to stubbing your toe to how you handled the rude cashier at the grocery store, everyday situations are great opportunities to be an excellent role model for your child.
Did I Teach My Child Something New?
Are you surprised at how much you can still learn even though you're not a little kid anymore? Teach your child something new every day. Watch a zoo webcam and teach them about the animals. Talk to them about street smarts.
Cook together so they can learn how to read a recipe. It doesn't matter what you teach them, just make sure you're the one who teaches them something new every day.
Did I Lose My Temper?
The dog just ate your new rug. Your potty training toddler didn't make it to the bathroom. Your phone is ringing. That mysterious burning smell is your family's dinner. Someone's at the door. You may want to scream at the top of your lungs because the world feels like it's crashing down on you all at once. No matter what challenges you encounter, losing your temper isn't worth it. And if you did lose your temper, find your own method of calming down so you can try to improve on handling life's daily pressures tomorrow.
Did We Talk about What We're Thankful for Today?
Your family has so much to be thankful for every day. Raise thankful kids who appreciate you, everyone and everything around them. Before bed or around the dinner table, everyone should take a moment to talk about what they're thankful for.
Did My Child Have Fun Today?
We like to think our kids have fun every day because, well, they're kids. Whether you're snowed in for the fifth day straight or it's too hot to play outside, make sure your child has fun every day. It's easy for kids to get bogged down in schoolwork or to gravitate towards TV and tablets as a habit but we need to make sure they're having fun every day with their friends, siblings and us.
Did I Have Fun Today?
As a parent, there are days when you may be counting down the days until your kids are 18. However, you should still take a step back every day to make sure you're having fun too. Oh sure, you may not feel like combing doll hair for an hour as you play salon or building mega-towers with building blocks for hours on end but these moments will soon pass and you'll be missing those times when you could've been playing with your little ones. Parenting isn't always fun but do your best to make every day fun for you and your kids.
Have I Forgiven Myself for Any Downfalls I Experienced Today?
You had a bad day. You may have yelled. You may have been extremely aggravated. You may have been mad most of the day. Let it go. You have to. Forgive yourself for any downfalls you experienced today. Think of how you could've handled it differently so you won't repeat those missteps tomorrow.
Have I Celebrated My Success?
We tend to keep a running mental list of our bad days and what we feel we did wrong but we quickly forget our SuperMom and SuperDad days. Celebrate those great days. Treat yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back. Journal it. Whatever you did that made you a rock star today should be celebrated, not forgotten.
What Is One Thing I'll Do to Make Tomorrow a Better Day for Both Me and My Child?
You may have had a great day or a not-so-great day. Either way, think of one thing you'll do to improve your day tomorrow. Remember, parenting isn't something you'll master. You'll always be a work in progress striving to do a better job for you and your kids tomorrow ... and that's a great thing.