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Challenge: Pandemic Parenting

The importance of realigning family goals

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We all live in a fast-paced life, where we are constantly chasing our dreams, goals and aspirations. At some point in our life, each of us have established or are a part of a family. In the current world, most of us are part of a nuclear family, consisting of two partners, kids and probably a few pets. This is our unit, our team, our identity, this is home and this is where we belong. Yet, this is probably the team that gets the least priority and is put in the back burner all the time.

I have wondered why this happens. When we build a family, we are all so excited and happy. We want to do everything right, we seem to make all the right choices, then what happens? Where do we go wrong? Why do most families either fall apart or suffocate within the closed doors?

When we start a family, more often than not, two people come together with some level of shared goals and values. There is a drive to achieve a common dream and build and identity for themselves, something that would give them a sense of belonging, something that they create and call their own. Everyone wants a piece of the world and everyone wants to be loved by their own.

However, as time progresses, we evolve and mature as individuals. Besides the shared dream, we have our own goals, aspirations, perspectives, influences, priorities and opportunities. And it’s perfectly all right to own our individuality while operating as a family. Our individuality must not be butchered for the sake of our family. In fact, the idea of family is to care, share, appreciate and grow together.

Fundamentally, I think it’s very important to set and realign goals every year for our family. Evaluate what's working and what doesn’t work anymore. It’s not just about setting expectations with the partner, but also with the kids. A lot of us tend to forget that kids are growing and maturing as fast as we are. Their needs, personalities and priorities are changing, and so our parenting techniques should also change. In most families, over a period of time, things are done a certain way and they continue to work in the same way, until it gets frustrating. There is a certain role that is played as the dad, mom, child, husband, wife, sister, brother, which becomes monotonous and regimental. As our personalities change, these roles become a formality and a burden. Unless expectations are reset, there is no way to rejuvenate or refresh the family with happiness and infuse a breath of fresh air.

At the end of the day, we all want to be part of something that brings us happiness, joy, enthusiasm and gives us a sense of fulfillment and belonging. As our kids grow and go into the world and set up their own space, we want them to hold happy memories, good values, great attitudes and a confident personality to achieve their dreams. What our kids become reflects the values we instilled in them. So take time every year to hold a mini family meeting and let everyone set their own expectations, goals and priorities. Unless you are happy in your own space and able to love yourself truly, you will never be able to unconditionally love your family. The beauty and success of a family is when each member is able to experience happiness individually and collectively. So go on and reset your happiness quotient!


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