New Year’s Resolutions
The dawn of a new year is traditionally that time to celebrate new beginnings and for many of us, the new year means that it is time to take stock of our lives and set resolutions, that positively promote our growth. Not only do adults benefit from New Year’s resolutions, but children can benefit from them as well. Making resolutions with your child can be fun and exciting while teaching them the value of self-discipline and the value of making goals. This is also an opportunity for family bonding.
Here are some simple and efficient ways to teach your children about making New Year’s resolutions.
- Make it a Family Tradition. Sit down as a family each December and reflect on the past year, discussing your goals and what you have accomplished as a family and as individuals. Each family member can take turns sharing what they are proud of and what they would like to improve. It may help your child if you express your goals first to serve as a model. If your child is old enough to write, have them write down their own accomplishments and goals. Resolutions for the family might be taking a monthly hike, playing a board game together once a week, or having a weekly movie night.
- Set Age Appropriate Resolutions. Resolutions should be age appropriate. For preschool children you may focus on simple goals, such as cleaning up toys, brushing teeth and washing hands. However, parents who consider these to be habits to be part of their normal expectations may want to help their children set higher goals, such as listening and helping skills. Children ages 5-12, are more able to comprehend a resolution and participate in the process of picking one that is best for them. Examples of resolutions for this age group are; drinking more milk and water on a daily basis, or being kind to their peers, or siblings.
- Set an Example. No matter the age of your child, they are more likely to understand the value of goal setting from seeing you as their role model. Your child is watching and learning from everything you do. Work together and remind each other, in an encouraging way, of your goals and the need to stick to them.
However your family sets resolutions for the new year, the important part is that you are doing it together and learning how to manage your child’s role in the family and in the outside world.