Once every other week I go out for coffee alone at night. I use this time to sit and evaluate our family life. This time, along with prayer, does more for my edification in the area of parenting than anything else right now.
I take time to pray and record strong and weak areas for my children and myself. I look at every area of our development- physical, emotional, spiritual, academic, and habits. I also stand back and take a look at our family life and whether we are acting as servants to others outside of our family. This time is critical for me. Because in the blink of an eye, the moments turn into years, and I want to know what to do and how to pray for God's glory in our family while "today is called today". I want to be aware. I want to go to God with our needs and our praises.
This may or may not appeal to you. Maybe it sounds ludicrous or anal or just not worth the time or effort. That is certainly understandable. My love for list-making and introspection is not universal (thank goodness)! But if it peaks your interest, here are the questions I use. (I record the answers in a journal.)
Physical- in good health? fine motors skills? gross motor skills? resting enough?
Emotional- self-controlled? seeing beyond himself/herself? happy? humble? sharing thoughts and feelings?
Spiritual- inquisitive? respectful? kind? speaking of God? fearful? responsible (wants to help)? enjoying learning about God? prayerful?
Habits- at the table? in public? school? chores?
Intellectual- any problem areas? using gifts? working on weaknesses? growing in knowledge/understanding or stagnant?
Family life- daily devotions? praying together? singing/enjoying different types of music together? experiencing new places/ideas together? Talking about Jesus? Appreciating/encouraging one another? Do 2 of us need time alone? Are we all enjoying one another? Are we loving our extending family well? Are we celebrating each day?
Service- How are we serving God's people? How are we serving those "without a voice"? Are we opening our home to others? Are we all attributing to daily chores? Do we grumble/complain when we are working? Are we looking for ways to share the gospel (verbally or non-verbally) with non-believers?