How do your days flow?
Do you have goals? Dreams? Where is your focus? Inspiration?
How do you wrangle all the information, I call it ‘The Crazy’, and get things accomplished? Do you write things on a calendar, have to-do-lists?
As a writer, I script my days.
I’m in the midst of transition in my personal life – I’ve recovered physically from my surgery, but I’m realizing how I’ve totally overlooked all the life changes my surgery has left. My body is forever altered. The scars have healed, but they remain. Physically, they itch, get sore, and sometimes ache. Almost 18 months out, with the feeling finally coming back in waves, they are a reminder. Philosophically, the scars are the marks of survival: life after cancer. I was given the gift of health by having such invasive surgery. It rid my body of not only tumors, but also all affected tissues. My prognosis is fantastic – with every quarterly CA-125 testing in the normal range, I’m a quarter closer to being deemed cancer-free.
It’s a blessing, but it’s a transition.
My boys are also transitioning. Having changed dramatically — not just the changes of growing into young men, but the changes that come with seeing your mother through a life-changing brush with cancer — finding calm is essential. The concern your mother could possibly die: it changes a child. Children already feel like much of their lives are not in their control. Giving them an opportunity to voice their hopes, fears, dreams in a way that makes sense to them is essential to their well-being.
How to do this? This is where you, as a parent, begin. We started keeping journals years ago when my boys were very young. Keeping track of fun events, drawing thank you and birthday cards, telling their stories while I scripted them — it’s what we do in our home. However, transitions pervade our lives. At some point, my older son wanted his own time to journal, to dream, to doodle. After discovering the Planner Perfect method of living your life with intention by scripting out your days – based on your goals – I encouraged my boys to do this as well. It not only allowed me the time to script my day, but allowed them the opportunity to build their communication skills. By transferring the plans and ideas they had in their imagination to paper, they were able to better articulate what they wanted.
Giving children a voice – clear communication is key to happy families.
My boys started with images before moving on to writing. We don’t correct grammar, spelling, punctuation – really anything – in their journals and planners. It’s their safe place to dream. I don’t want anyone stepping on my dreams, why would I step on my children’s dreams? What I have found is allowing children to articulate their desires greatly enhances their lives. It demonstrates the choices they have every day as to how to spend their time. It allows children to visually see how much control they have in their own lives. Even with chores, schoolwork, and family commitments, they find they are able to do more of what they want if they can see the bigger picture of their days, weeks, months, and years.
My children plan regularly because they see me plan regularly. They see their father plan regularly. We aren’t perfect, but we are persistent.
We sit down as a family, we talk about our goals, we write them down and make a plan. Is
it perfect? No. Do we all always agree, not hardly. Are we imperfectly working towards common goals – we try!
Whether it’s weekend plans, family vacations, homeschool agendas, classes, dinners, books we read…we talk about it, involve our children, and find common goals when we can. We always leave final say to the adults, but sometimes the adult final say is that it’s the child’s choice. Increasingly, we allow our children the opportunity to make choices on their own. Understanding the choices are theirs, the consequences are theirs, but they have us to help them navigate if needed…it’s all part of the growing process as they transition to adulthood. As parents, we see it as our obligation to teach our children many, many things. Having them take some responsibility – a joy!
Are you planning for your dreams to come true?