Positive parenting starts with a plan

You wouldn't remodel your house without a plan, why would you attempt to raise a child without one? For your kids’ stability (or your sanity) positive parenting starts with a plan. If you are just looking for some pointers on how to improve your parenting skills, you are in the right place.

If you are looking for a sample of a legal parenting plan (for divorce), skip ahead. There is link to a great site in the last paragraph at the bottom of this page.

I am a business woman…and it might be a little…or a lot “type A” of me, but I stay focused by organizing my priorities like any business plan – with an objective, strategy and tactics. Without sounding too much like a drill sergeant… here is a sample of my game-plan.

Objective – What are you trying to achieve?
An objective is more of a ‘big picture’ statement of what you are trying to achieve. It is your end goal or target.

For example, as a single mom, your objective might be to provide my daughter with a stable, healthy and stimulating environment to grow up in.

Strategy – How are you going to achieve it?
A strategy defines your plan of action…not the specific steps, but the direction of the plan.

To achieve this objective, you need to:
1) Be able to cover your basic financial needs so that you can provide a safe home and comfortable bed.
2) Promote a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and exercise.
3) Learn about child development, so that you can engage your child in educational activities.

Tactics – What are the specific steps you are going to take?
Ok, this is where you list the actual steps to take.

1) Be able to cover your basic financial needs so that you can provide a safe home and comfortable bed.

Chances are that you have a full time job…If you are like me, that just isn’t enough to cover the bills AND have some fun time. I’ve personally tried a couple of network marketing jobs to build a side business…However, to build those into viable networks, you have to put a lot of time into building the business…which will take you away from your child more.

As a single parent, your time is at a premium. If you have a computer, there are e-lance careers available. Or, you can take the time to learn more about building websites like this one on the side.

2) Promote a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and exercise.
Kids will eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner…and single parent children might try and guilt trip you into ice cream at least once a day. With busy days microwave meals are also available to fill the stomach, but don’t nourish the body.

You can set a good example by buying fruits, vegetables and whole foods. If you can’t actually get vegetables into your kid…I found a book called “Deceptively Delicious” which teaches you how to sneak vegetables into junk food. A friend of mine swears the chocolate chip cookies with chick peas are some of the best cookies that she has ever had.

Proper diet and exercise will also help you deal with everyday stress…so take a family walk after dinner too!

3) Learn about child development, so that you can engage your child in educational activities.

Encouraging your child’s development doesn’t mean buying all the latest high-tech gadgets and gizmos. There are three simple things that you can do to help your child grow up and build a strong bond with them.

a. Turn off the TV! It is a convenient babysitter, but does not stimulate your child’s mind. Children learn by doing and by interacting with you.
b. Take 15 minutes to read to your child every night. Reading encourages creativity…but the real reason children enjoy this time is because it is time with you.
c. Ask questions and engage your child. Sometimes it is hard to ‘talk’ to young children, but engaging them in conversation builds rapport and vocabulary skills.

If you have been through divorce, then ‘parenting plan’ probably has a different meaning to you. There is a legal movement to change from using the term custody agreement, to using parenting plan. The idea is to try and encourage parents to work together for the child.

From a legal standpoint…you are going to include a little more detail in your parenting plan. If you and your ex are working together, you can also arrange a legal plan online…if things aren’t so good; your lawyer will direct you through the custody agreements. Find the right lawyer for you. Get matched with pre-screened local lawyers! With LegalMatch, the process is easy and confidential.

Happy Parenting!

More positive parenting strategies to consider…
Positive Parenting and the message you send...
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