It's the last day of the year and the perfect time to reflect back on 2018 before you sweep it (and the confetti) under the rug. I highly encourage you to take 20-30 minutes in the next couple of days (and throughout the year!) to practice this super-critical skill of reflection.
When you can reflect on the past and develop your self-awareness, you can recognize your patterns and navigate the complexities of parenting a child with ADHD or Executive Functioning challenges more mindfully every single day.
Grab your journal, your co-parent, or a good friend and follow along with the notes below as I guide you through two different year-end reflections.
How to REFLECT using a 1-5 point scale.
On a scale of 1-5, one being low and 5 being high, how do you rate yourself in the following categories?
1. Patience - Can you hold space for your child, pause and listen without interrupting or rushing them along? Do you give your child a chance to express how they feel? Do you take time to meet your child's needs before you expect them to meet yours?
2. Emotional Regulation - Can you feel your emotions without reacting? Can you regulate or inhibit your impulses when your child is pushing your buttons?
3. Quality Time w/ Family - Are the majority of your interactions with your family positive or negative? Do you frequently plan fun activities and family time? Do you miss out on fun activities because of tantrums, arguing, or lack of balance between work and life?
4. Communication - Are you bossy and aggressive, whiny, or assertive? Do you clearly express expectations and positively reinforce your child's effort?
5. Flexibility/Problem Solving - How do you react when something doesn't go your way? Are you able to go with the flow and model problem-solving to your child? Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?
6. Other? - What other categories came up as you wrote down or discussed your reflections? What else can you add to this list?
How to REFLECT on VICTORIES & CHALLENGES
It's easy to focus on everything that went wrong in 2018 and forget about all of the victories you had. Once you've assessed the categories below, let's take a look at the big picture.
First, think back and list all of your victories over the last year. Look at what worked vs what didn't work? What are you proud of? What worked well? What steps forward did you make? Your child?
- Don't just go for the big improvements or revelations - these are great but rare!
- Reflect on the smallest steps forward. Did you make progress toward a goal? What worked? How did you feel?
Finally, think back and list the challenges you faced this year. Think about what happened, how you responded, and what caused it?
Instead of setting big, overwhelming resolutions for 2019, consider thinking about what tiny steps you can take next time a challenge comes up so that you get a slightly better outcome?
Tiny little shifts in your mindset, in your habits, and in your awareness add up to make a HUGE difference over the course of the year.
Cheers to a happy and healthy new year!!