More than Just Will Power

March 25, 2013 - 9:57am

Well, we are well into 2013 and it is time to look at our New Year’s resolutions and evaluate if they were a success. Those of us who decided to quit or start something as of January 1 , and relied on Will Power alone, probably have found ourselves continuing the bad habits or maybe we changed but only for a couple of days.

The reason why New Year’s resolutions sometimes fail so miserably is because we rely on will power alone. Change only happens when we make a commitment and stick to it and persist over a long period of time.

If you are anything like me you want change right now and want it to last. This is also true in parenting. We recognize a behaviour that needs to change so we address it and we want it to go away forever because that would be easier than making a plan, committing to that plan, putting lots of time towards that plan and persisting with it.

Well, my quick fix mentality with my kids has resulted in little change. Therefore, my resolution for this year is to not expect change unless I am willing to commit the time and effort to the challenges that I see before me. I need a plan and then I need a backup plan. I need time when there does not seem to be time. Most of all I need to change my thinking around change and how it happens. If I keep thinking it is impossible it will be. If I keep thinking it is a process and I am on the right track, I will see progress of change little bits at a time.

Parenting is the greatest gift and the greatest challenge. I encourage you to recognize your parenting challenges. Maybe its patience or keeping routine or dealing with a child that has a temper. Make a decision to change. Create a plan. Give it your all and persist over time. Celebrate the little things along the way and accept we don’t go from 0 to 10 overnight - but we may go from 0 to .5 overnight and that is progress. It is progress not perfection.

Shelly Carriere is a mother and counsellor for the town of Birch Hills. Her columns on family issues can be read every other week on

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