Ringing in the new year is a time for celebration, as we close the door to the year before. It is a time to map out a plan for the next 365 days. Children between the ages of 7-12 are at a prime stage in life where they can start to learn how to make resolutions for themselves.
New Year’s Resolutions can be fun and rewarding for young people as they take a look at their lives and fix what they do not like. Whether it is diet, exercise, grades, learning a new hobby, sport, or instrument, making a resolution sets the stage for a year-long journey towards self-improvement.
Here are five tips to help families make resolutions together.
- Make resolutions together as a family. Resolutions can bring families together, especially when you are setting goals as a collective unit. With pen and paper in hand, brainstorm about what goals you want to accomplish in the new year as individuals and as a family. This not only encourages individual growth for all of those involved but finding one or two things that you can do together in the new year, definitely sets the stage for hard to plan family time!
- Be an example. As parents, it is important to be your child’s role model and practice what you preach. Make sure that if you write down a resolution, you try your best to stick to it! Children constantly watch their parents and most of the time, immolate their every move. So, if you write it down, commit to it and you will find that your kids will too.
- Keep resolutions positive and attainable. While creating your list, make sure that you write down things that are positive and attainable. You don’t need a lot of resolutions, 2-5 per person, should do. Let your children know that every new day is a day to reinvent yourself. Instead of creating resolutions based on the previous year’s shortcomings, focus on the successes and the things that can grow out of those. If you go into 2017 with a negative outlook, your children will too. Stay positive, upbeat, and make realistic goals and crush them!
- Suggest, don’t dictate. When you and your children are working on your resolutions. Suggest things for them to consider, don’t dictate. Remember, these are their resolutions, you have your own. Some helpful prompts for you to use to help guide your children can be: what would like to accomplish in the new year? Would you like to learn a new sport? How do you want your grades to look at the end of the school year? Make it all about them. Start them to thinking, and their list may grow longer than imagined.
- Make resolutions a family tradition. Make this something that you and your children can do every year. Turn off all electronics, set up snacks, pens, and paper on December 31st, and have fun. Try to engage as many of the senses as possible, so when they are older, a smell, a song, a certain dish, will make them remember how much they enjoyed resolution time at the end of the year. Make it a game, or some sort of competition for the year. There is no limit for creativity in this situation. So, stay up until midnight and toast to the family fun!