New Year’s Day is a time to celebrate a new beginning. One way that people start the new year off right is by making resolutions. Resolutions can act as a road map to usher in a new path for happiness. According to experts, children between the ages of 7-12 years-old are at the ideal stage in life to learn to make resolutions for themselves.
“They’re still young enough that their habits are not firm,” states Christine Carter, Ph.D., author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, and a teacher for an online class on helping kids develop happiness habits to parents.com. “They’re old enough to think about what a New Year’s resolution is and to make their own — yet parents can still help guide them. They’re not going to get the same backlash as from a teenager.”
Making resolutions with your children can be a fun and exiting bonding experience that highlights growth, change, and opportunity. Below are three tips on how to help your children make New Year’s resolutions and keep in touch with their goals throughout 2018.
1. Be a Role Model. As parents, it is very important that you practice what you preach. Your children are always looking to you to set the example. Bring your own resolutions to the table and sit with them while they work on their own. Make sure that you write down realistic resolutions that you all will have no trouble keeping.
2. Let them come up with their own list. Parents tend to want to “dictate” and “do it for them” but remember, this is their resolution list, not yours. You can guide and make helpful suggestions but your child’s resolution should be their own. This is how they make a plan and take ownership of their own goals.
3. Follow-up throughout the year. Check-in with the kids during the year to see how they are doing on their resolutions. You can even turn this into a fun family “reporting” event. Don’t “nag” or “worry” that their resolutions may have taken a detour from time to time. Yours probably will do so as well, and let them know! Make sure that they know that they haven’t failed if brief lapses take place, make sure that they know change takes time and to take baby steps not giant leaps.