Celebrating the New Year can inspire us to pause and contemplate personal issues in a self-reflective manner. We make promises to ourselves about changes we long to make, goals we want to pursue, and dreams we hope will come true. Here is my personal list of parenting resolutions for 2014 that I feel reflect pressing concerns in our society:
Minimize Screen Time
Conventional children’s toys have been replaced by the singular favorite toy of all ages–the cell phone. I am always looking to see if anyone pushing a stroller is not talking on his or her mobile device. Conventional wisdom, as well as scientific research, has validated that face-to-face interaction with our children contributes to optimal development. Use your precious time with your kids to really be there for them.
Consider the Consequences of Implanting Two Embryos
The latest fertility treatments have improved so dramatically that many specialists are advising their patients to implant one embryo at a time. If you have time on your side, can exercise the option to freeze eggs, and are able to manage more than one pregnancy, think carefully about having multiples. Couples struggling with infertility have a variety of options these days that were not available years ago.
Embrace Ambivalence as a Key Emotional Concept
When women confide in me that no one really talks about the difficulties inherent in parenting, it makes me a bit crazy. There is no shame in admitting to or talking about such feelings. In fact, it is healthy and appropriate to do so. The capacity to integrate both positive and negative facets of parenting leads to improved coping skills, greater flexibility, and more happiness.
Resurrect Resilience as a Primary Parenting Goal
Too much information floods us with promises and strategies about how to be perfect parents. First of all, there is no such thing as a perfect parent–and thank goodness for that. In our attempts to provide everything we feel our children need, we cripple them. When youngsters are deprived of opportunities to struggle on their own, they miss out on experiencing the exhilaration of self-mastery and personal success.
Trust Your Intuitive Self
At the end of the day, no matter how many people you consult or how many books you read, you must rely on your own judgment and sense of ethics. Many of us have difficulty trusting ourselves. However, if we are comfortable in this realm, we find strength and confidence in our convictions and decisions.
Curb the Mommy Wars
I cannot think of a more substantial waste of time, talent, and energy than the animosity that flares up from time to time between working moms and stay-at-home moms. This torrential outpouring of competitive wrath is a societal reflection of our obsession with perfection and materialism. This vigorous strife weakens women’s potential, unity, and collective strength.
What are your parenting goals for 2014?