Parenting With A Plan

by bosssanders on June 13, 2013 with 2 comments

I’d never thought much about it, until someone pointed it out to me… but my husband and I parent with a plan.

Sounds kind of weird, but it’s true.  I took it for granted for the longest time, thinking all parents must think like this.  – Knowing what types of things they’d like their children to experience or learn before they leave the nest… not in a day by day planned activity book (because that IS kind of crazy… or will make you crazy when you try to make it all unfold so perfectly!), but in a very general sort of way.

Until recently, we didn’t have it on paper… but, then began thinking… we make goal sheets at work, lists of things to do, things to get at the grocery… why don’t we do this with parenting?  –One of our biggest and best “jobs?”  Why not?

So, we put it to paper… and, because I’ve been encouraged to share it, here it is!

The Most Important Things

First, we sat down and wrote a list of the things most important to us – things we hoped our children would have or become…

1.  Relationship with God/Jesus

- Know and be able to show mercy, forgiveness, and love

- God-seeking hearts

2.  Values

3.  Ability to take care of themselves (hygiene, chores, money, cook, reliable, don’t give up easily, cars, and a little knowledge on hair/fashion)

4.  Ability to keep a job

5.  Have good professional and interpersonal skills

6.  Know what being a good (biblical) husband or wife looks like (i.e., setting good examples for our children in these roles)

The Disclaimer

This is where I tell you that we don’t have it down perfectly.  The part where i tell you they are GOALS, not ACHIEVEMENTS.  It’s that piece of paper that helps tell you how to get where you want to go on the days where you don’t know anymore because you’ve not gotten enough sleep… or, after a REALLY hard day when all 3 children needed you (and on you) all at once… all day… OR BOTH!  It’s the map for this wonderful adventure, helping us stay on course and discern what matters and what doesn’t.  It’s for that.

Breaking It Down

To reach the main goals (above), we came up with a broken up list of age-appropriate things we hope to teach our children at specific stages.

3 Years

  • dust
  • dress self
  • use toilet independently
  • beginning to brush teeth by self
  • pick up toys
  • say prayers
  • clean glass tables
  • dry dishes
  • put clothes in washer

4 Years

  • brush teeth
  • make bed
  • get own breakfast (cereal, bananas, granola bars)
  • make sandwiches
  • begin to clean room by self
  • dust
  • everything 3 yo can do

5 Years

  • straighten room
  • sweep
  • vacuum
  • empty small garbage cans (bathrooms)
  • set table
  • clear table
  • make own lunch (sandwiches)
  • get allowance
  • clean sink
  • wash and fold laundry
  • dust
  • beginning understanding of interest and savings

6 Years

  • take shower by self
  • dust
  • load dishwasher (or, rinse dishes)
  • empty dishwasher
  • wash dishes (6.5 ish)
  • use microwave (late 6)
  • water plants
  • make and answer phone calls
  • sweep
  • clean sink and toilet (their bathroom)
  • gets savings account

7 Years

  • wash dishes
  • floss by self
  • clean toilets
  • pull weeds
  • use/have savings acct
  • read with comprehension
  • memorize phone number and address
  • do own hair
  • begin piano lessons (?)
  • use play money to show our bills vs. budget/incoming money (good stewardship)

8 Years

  • groom nails/hair
  • get up by self
  • participate in teams/clubs
  • develop personal talents
  • clean mirrors
  • baptized (? – this is when we’ll start exploring it.  It happens when THEY are ready, though)
  • get into the practice of reading scriptures daily
  • learn care for a pet
  • buy stock/CD/investment for part of their Christmas and allow them to track it

9 Years

  • mop floor
  • clean pictures
  • bake cakes/cookies
  • understand emergency preparedness
  • learn basic first aid
  • fill car with gas
  • wash car
  • vacuum car interior
  • hammer nails
  • sew on buttons
  • saw wood (supervision!!)
  • cook veggies
  • write letters
  • understand puberty/sex (sigh)
  • email
  • wrap presents

10 Years

  • do own laundry completely
  • set personal goals
  • play musical instrument
  • maintain personal journal
  • participate in exercise program
  • rent videos
  • clean stove/oven
  • make several kids of salad
  • understand basic nutrition
  • use leaf blower
  • write creatively

11 Years

  • Arrange for own haircuts (ability to set appts)
  • help clean refrigerator
  • clean cupboards
  • straighten drawers
  • straighten closets
  • sew hems
  • bake pies
  • bake bread
  • make several main dishes
  • iron own clothes
  • plan meals
  • mow lawn
  • weed eat
  • maintain garden
  • use a camera
  • crochet/knit
  • babysitting class
  • first aid training
  • use internet with filters (not with us right behind them)

And… the list goes on… all the way up to 17… with extra notes on teaching them more about money.  This, by the way, is NOT their chore list.  These are things we hope to teach them how to do.  Not, “here’s a broom, now sweep” but standing with them, gently guiding and showing step by step how to do these things.  And, then practicing and practicing and practicing with them.  Chores is a totally different post… and way less bullet points ;)   These are simply some of the things we want to make sure we don’t forget to teach our children how to do… like, really… purposefully… teach them.  It’s SO easy to just tell them to move and do it ourselves… but such a disservice to them!

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy!

Does your family have a “plan” of any sorts for parenting?  I’d love to hear about it!  How do you stay on track?

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  • Trackbacks

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    Tuesday, 3 September, 2013

    [...] a lot of things we already felt, but puts them all together so neatly.  I wrote before of our intentional parenting “plan,” but this book helps us think about a “spiritual plan.”  We are really trying [...]

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