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This year.

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last year

As we start the year of 2016 I want to share with you (parts) of the first column I wrote for Minnesota Parent Magazine last January - Hopes, dreams goals.

I want to carry these goals and aspirations into this new year of 2016

Parenting with purpose

My hope is to make informed decisions as I guide my children through their growing and learning early years. We make so many choices and decisions as parents that affect so many aspects of our children’s lives. Some are easier, like deciding what winter jacket to purchase or what to make for dinner on Thursday. Some are more complicated, like choosing a school or figuring out how to guide a child through a tough friendship situation. Though there are countless books on how to parent, our individual children simply don’t come with instruction manuals. However, we can do our best to make sound decisions by seeking out information and ideas that can help us validate and support decisions that are in the best interest of our family life.

Making time for connection

I want to spend meaningful, undistracted time with my children (and husband) each day. This sounds like it should be easy, but, as you can probably relate, the challenge is to be fully present without preoccupation with something else. I want to be attentive in my thoughts and actions to those around me, even if it’s in small segments of time throughout the day. This can be as simple as sharing a meal, playing a game, reading a story or listening to my child talk about his or her day.

Seeking balance, experiencing joy

We’re pulled in so many directions as parents. We, along with our children, can be overscheduled and stressed. My hope for this year is to stay grounded by working to make mindful choices, balancing family time and external commitments for myself and for my children. I also want to make time to share in the simple joys of childhood. I invite to you work toward these ideals along with me in this new year. As Gretchen Rubin notes in her book The Happiness Project, “The days are long, but the years are short.” I find this so true as a parent, especially with school-age children. Let’s make the most of these days and work to make our hopes and dreams as parents come alive.

Wishing you a wonderful start to 2016

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