Summer is a great time to relax and enjoy our families, but it can also be a great time for some reflection. Use a prviate, quiet moment this summer to reflect on how your year as a parent has been. The checklist below will help you with this process. It will allow you to see where you might need to do some tweaking or it may allow you to give yourself a great big pat on the back for doing many things well.


1) I have read to my child.

2) I have read a book, novel, magazine, newspaper or newsletter while my child is in the same room

3) I have given specific praise for things my son has done well (jobs, homework, playing nicely, being kind)

4) I have used the "No Emotion" rule when I discipline my child

5) I have remembered to say what I need to say in as few words as possible when I disciplined my child

6) I have identified which testing technique (Badgering, Temper, Threat, Martyrdom, Butter Up) my child uses and have not caved in

7) I have presented the concept of our family being a "Team" often

8) I have had scheduled, one-on-one dates with my child at least once a month (even if it's just for 30 minutes)

9) I have helped my child set a goal for him/herself, brainstormed three action steps to achieving that goal and then praised him/her specifically for what he/she did well

10) I have established which virtues are important to me and modelled them as well as allowed my child to practise using them

11) I have established a time during the day where my child has Alone Time/Independent Play

12) We created one family tradition this year

13) We have participated in regular family acitivities together (on school nights and weekends)

14) We ate together at least 4 times a week

15) I have decided how much time I think is appropriate for my child to watch TV and implemented a routine for this

While reviewing this checklist you may have experienced a physical or emotional reaction to one or many of the statements. Use these as your guide. What will the next 12 months or next school year look like for your family?

Author's Bio: 

Erin Kurt, parenting & life coach to working mothers, and founder of ErinParenting, is also the author of Juggling Family Life and creator of The Life Balance Formula and the How to Get Your Child to Listen program.