Strengths-Based Parenting Goals for 2019; Play to Your Strengths


It’s that time of the year again. We spend a few minutes reflecting on the highs and lows, wins and losses of 2018 and look ahead to with hopes, dreams, and goals for 2019. As parents, it is a particularly great time to consider some new parenting goals to go with the new year.  

I think we have to start with an analysis of ourselves as parents before we set goals for growth we hope to see in our kids. Take a moment and ask yourself, “what makes my eyes shine?” By this I mean, what lights you up and makes you feel alive? Do you find energy and engagement through aspects of your career or personal interests? If you’re married, identify the shine for both you and your spouse. This is key, because if we can identify and do more of what makes us shine, then we will be leading our kids with our best self, our most alive and satisfied self. It also helps us hone in on the unique things that make our kids shine. Take a moment, and jot down a few of the areas, activities or interests where you saw each of your children shine in 2018.

Analyn and I have always found greater motivation for setting and excelling at annual goals when we consider goals through strength rather than weakness lens. Now that we have identified some areas of strength and enthusiasm in each family member let’s define what success would look like for each of us as parents in 2019. Use the questions below to identify what you value and dream of as it relates to parenting.

Think about and respond to the questions below. Answer from the belief that you are called by God and capable of being a great Mom/Dad to your child.

1.        What kind of parent do you want to be? List 3 adjectives or phrases.

2.        What do you want to be known for as a parent?

3.        How do you want your kids to describe your parenting in the future?

Based on the answers to these questions, take some time to explore further:

1.        First look back and reflect on what made you a great mom or dad in the past. List some of the successes you had and why you might have been such a success.

2.        Next, consider the here and now. In what ways are you a successful parent in the present? What are you doing today that is making a difference in your kid’s life?

3.        Now, look ahead. How might you be a successful parent in the future? What adjustments are you compelled to make to become the parent you want your child to describe in their future?

As you launch into 2019, consider the words of the late Dr. Donald Clifton, author and strengths expert, “Individuals are always stronger when they have their successes clearly in mind.”  Taking the time to identify what success and growth look like for you, in your unique family context is key to developing as a parent. Create 3 actionable goals for 2019 that align with your answers above and will move you further downfield in your parenting journey.

Parenting is as much about modeling as it is about teaching and leading. Sometimes parenting feels like trying to pull a donkey uphill. The more Analyn and I know ourselves and the kind of parents we aim to become, the more inspired our kids become to realize themselves and follow our lead from a place of passion and respect. No one wants to be forced into a mold or compared to others, so don’t set goals that push you or your kids to become more like someone else. We rarely have what it takes to become a different version of ourselves. But we have incredible potential to build upon the success we have already attained. Play to your strengths this year as you parent and teach your kids how to play to theirs.

Happy New Year friends, we sincerely hope it is the best year yet for you and your family. Full of laughter, insight, growth, connection, and expression.

Brandon Miller