Growing up and and even now I would definitely be in the “perfectionist” bucket . Things always need to be in order, done correctly and in a timely manner. Well after I had kids that whole part of me kinda flew out the door! I am still majorly Type A but have toned it down quite a bit!
So here is my mom confession!
“I found myself making my kids do things in the way I felt was right and making choices for them with my Type A personality.”
The repercussions? Well more with my 6 year old; he is always second guessing himself. I see him always thinking if he is doing something wrong because it’s really wrong or not the way he was taught to do it by his Type A mom. It’s me who put that in his head and now it’s kinda tough to change his way of thinking. For a while I felt like total crap about it and kept blaming myself that I did so bad in bringing up my son but after a while I came to realize that it’s part of life. It was who I am and that is what I thought was the best thing for my kid. Now I realize maybe it wasn’t so I wanted to do something to help him become a little more independent.
We recently started something called mini goal setting in our house and it has really made a difference with my older one.
So what’s it all about? Well first we explained to him the concept of a goal in 6 year old terms. We just talked about it being something you want to reach by a specific time frame.
So his goals are on a weekly basis. On Sunday nights we talk about 3 positives he had last week and 3 negatives. It can be about ANYTHING from school, sports, family, dreams, behavior etc.
Then we let him set 3 goals to reach by the following Sunday. We let HIM CHOOSE. Believe me that was a major adjustment for me! We guide him in a direction where they are measurable and reachable. At first he was saying things like “Oh I am going to be undefeated in soccer this year.” So we toned him down to, maybe set a goal each week to win a game.
On Sundays we go through the goals and see how many he met. The first month or so it took a while to get to a point where he actually understood the concept but now that he does…he gets so excited to set goals and really reach them. Even his teachers have noticed a change.
We don’t reward him for reaching the goals. We explain that his reward is the feeling of accomplishment. If he doesn’t reach a goal, it’s teaching him to not get upset and learn to try harder the following week. Things are not always going to go their way and crying about it won’t fix it. We had a few tears the first couple of times! It teaches them responsibility, strength, to be motivated, to have that inner drive to be better and the feeling of accomplishment and disappointment.
We now see the true disappointment in him when he doesn’t reach and goal and he gets it. The difference from before is that he doesn’t cry about it. He focuses and tries harder and the best part is, when he does reach it, he appreciates all the hard work he put into it.
It’s a great way to know what is going on in your child’s life by letting them drive the discussion. Here are some goals he has set in the past for ideas in your home:
- Remember to make my bed for 3 days without mommy reminding me
- Get to outstanding on my class behavior chart
- Win my soccer game
- Eat 1 new vegetable this week
- Help a friend
- Pack my own lunch 1 time this week
So moms don’t beat yourself up if you ever feel like you have done something wrong. I am actually kinda glad it happened to me because this whole mini goal setting approach has been valuable to the whole family!