Maybe you’re busy celebrating Kwanza. If so we wish you a joyful holiday with family and friends. Instead, maybe you’re home recuperating from seasonal holiday gatherings. The new year brings opportunities to show your toddler how to use the new year to be better versions of ourselves. New year resolutions for children might include: don’t hit your sister or brother, or go to bed when Mom and Dad say to. Even if your child is too young for new year resolutions, you can use your resolutions as a teaching tool. You can be a role model for your children by showing the discipline to follow your resolutions.
The Resolution Role Model
If you believe in resolutions, when you make them, you should keep them. As parents, your actions are more profound teachers than spoken words. To drive the lesson home, make some new year resolutions as a whole family. Bring your resolutions to your family’s gathering place, like the kitchen table. Your kids, even toddlers will learn how to approach this task. The conversation can start with something like: “Daddy and I are making resolutions that we’re working hard to keep.”
Common New Year Resolutions
Losing weight, exercising more, eating healthier are all common resolutions. Sometimes people decide to lose forty pounds as a new year resolution. Sometimes people resolve to earn more money this year. The trouble starts when the resolutions are too large or too vague to complete this year. Health clubs and workout equipment vendors love the sales every January, but the full clubs empty out by March and the equipment becomes clothing hangers.
Healthy Family Approach to Resolutions
Making healthy resolutions as a family is a great approach and teaching tool according to PBS. As a family, take turns going around the group letting each member start by listing something they are proud of and something they want to do better. Parents can help by going first and showing the kids an example. When the children list their accomplishments and goals you can help guide them toward livable aspirations. Like, honey, I know you want to get a horse, but say what you will do, not get. It could be pick up toys or brush your teeth more. It could also be, as experts suggest, listening or helping skills. List the resolutions on a paper that you can pin up in a common area as a reminder.
Include Your Child in Your New Year Resolutions
When you make your new year resolutions, think of how to include your child in your resolutions. For instance, you might say, “I’m going to drink more water this year because water is good for me. Would you like to join me?” Do you spend too much time on Facebook or Instagram? Work that into your resolution, with a commitment to spending more time offline with family. Or resolve to turn off your phone when you get home. ask your family members to help remind you to keep your resolution, and support you by leaving their tablet off until after a certain time.
Figure out a Reward System for Effort
All of us know the great feeling of reaching a goal. Children of all ages also love the thrill of accomplishment. By acknowledging their accomplishments as parents, you boost that thrill for them. Children receiving that support grow self-esteem, and self-control. It is important to review the resolutions, not for punishment, but to recognize the efforts family members are making. Resolutions are not written in stone, but function as guidelines. Most importantly, working at resolutions together strengthens feelings of achievement.
From all of us at Sammy’s Milk to you, happy new year to you and your family.