Future Proof Your Family By Bettering Yourself Today

We all want what’s best for our families, and as parents we’re forever putting our own needs aside for that of our children. But actually, being a great parent doesn’t mean you have to give up on yourself completely. In fact, by bettering yourself you put yourself in the best situation both now and in the future. Which is great news for you and your personal goals, as well as financially for your family.

Set Some Goals

Raising children is a full time job for many, and when your children are small you might not be thinking about your career goals in the here and now. But having a plan for the future gives you something to work and aim towards, and could allow you to take the steps you need today to get you on track. You could create a three or five year plan, which will help you to focused and prevent you from becoming stagnant or in a rut. Without goals it’s easy for your progress to stall and you might never end up reaching your potential- you might be busy caring for your children now but they won’t be small forever. Set your goals, you might have to be flexible with them (you might want to stay at home with your children, have more children or go part time for example) and end up going in a completely different direction when it comes to work. But having goals written down helps you work out what you want for the future.

Improve Your Education

Getting educated or furthering your education can benefit your entire family. It could mean you’re able to apply for jobs that would have previously been off limits, or it might just give you the edge over another candidate. Faced with two prospective candidates, an employer will almost always choose the one with the better education so it’s something that’s well worth doing. When you’re a parent you probably won’t be able to take a few years out to go back and study full time at college or university, however you could sign up to an online course and study part time. As you can do this in your spare time, it’s a great opportunity for parents to focus on bettering themselves even if going back to work isn’t currently an option. You get to explore your own interests and it gives you something to work towards. Plus better education will mean a better job in future, great news for your family’s finances.

Go on a Course

There are tonnes of useful courses you can go on to build your skills and experience. As a parent, first aid and child first aid are both good options- would you know what to do in an emergency? If you don’t currently drive, going on a driving course, passing your test and getting a car could be what makes your life easier. You could go on a work based course to give you the knowledge and skills you need in future, or it could be a parenting course if you’re a new parent and want to learn a few things to make life easier. Work out what would benefit your life, and see if there are any courses on this in your local area. Many will only be a day or two long, so it could be something you do over the weekend when the in laws are watching the children.

Do Some Voluntary Work

Another thing that parents can do to better themselves is to do some voluntary work. This helps you to give back to those in need, and also sets a good example for your children. Teaching children the importance of giving back and showing empathy are useful lessons that will come in handy for the rest of their lives. You could volunteer at a care home for elderly people, children’s hospitals or look into healthcare administration and volunteering. It could be at a soup kitchen, women’s refuge or animal shelter. You could even bring your children along to show them the good work you are doing, and how these efforts help others. Even just an hour a week would work if you’re very busy, it makes you feel good and you know you are genuinely helping those less fortunate.

Work on Your Communication Skills

Communication skills are incredibly important, this is something we are particularly aware of as parents. We know how children can become frustrated when they can’t express themselves, and how unless something is stated clearly a determined child will find a way around what you have said. Being a good communicator who is clear and direct will benefit you massively as a parent, and is also something that will come in useful in your career later on too. Work on becoming a more confident individual and the rest will follow. Written communication is equally as important, these days when so much is done online you need to be a fast, efficient typist and know exactly how to get your point across. You could sign up to a creative writing course, start a blog or even begin journaling to improve your written skills. Employers will see what kinds of communication skills you have during interviews and on your CV so it’s something that’s worth working on so you can make the very best impression.

Our children’s needs will always come before our own, but don’t forget about yourself as an individual. Being a content and happy individual will make you a happier parent. Knowing what you want to do in life after your children grow up and fly the nest, or having an idea about what you want to do in your career are useful and things you can start thinking about now. That way you can put plans into motion when the time is right.

As a parent, what do you do to ensure you’re constantly bettering yourself, and setting a good impression to your children? Do you currently do any of the things on this list?