The phrase “New Year’s Resolutions” around this time of year can be downright cringe-worthy to hear for some of us.
Every January 1st comes and goes, and according to the polls the most commonly set resolutions are to eat healthier, lose weight, and spend more time with family. While innately these are great things, and should be desired anyway, there are some that just go gung-ho with their goals and are not realistic with themselves.
You can picture it now: hundreds of people signing contracts to gym memberships they will hardly ever use, nicotine patches going on sale for those who are determined to quit smoking by February, and local markets experiencing higher inventory demand due to the compulsion of individuals who have suddenly decided to “only buy organic from now on.”
It’s tradition. It’s cultural. You might be concerned about the idea of your child falling into the world’s dangerous mindset that they need to look or behave a certain way now that there is a different number on the calendar. It is for this reason we’ve compiled some noteworthy New Year’s resolutions children have set for themselves – and we hope they will encourage you to help your children set their own!
Do not confuse a resolution with a rule, like “go to bed on time” or “finish your homework every night” – this is a given. A resolution is something out of the ordinary, going beyond every day expectation, yet still leading to stretching and self-improvement. However, ensure that these are attainable, or at least reasonable goals. If there are too many, or something that the child is not interested in at all, certainly encourage it, but do not press it. Make sure these are things you BOTH want! The best part about this will be engaging your child to discuss where they are at, what they want to accomplish, and to not just help them be what they want to be “when they grow up”, but to stand by and help them grow here and now.
No more than 2 or 3 resolutions are really necessary. They could be centered around your child’s health, character, or physical challenges.
Once they have been made, print them in bold letters on a sheet of paper and tape it to your child’s wall. This will be a constant reminder for them to continue and pursue their goals.
Here are some ideas:
- Pledge to set aside at least 15 minutes every day to read (either alone or with a parent) outside of school. Before bed is usually a good time.
- Set a goal to make a new friend (or two!) at school or a regular activity.
- Pick one day out of the week (Saturday is probably best) and let that be your “candy day”. From now on, you cannot have candy any other day of the week!
- Practice complimenting at least one person per day.
- Try a new sport, after school activity, or hobby and practice it consistently for at least 3 months.
- (For girls) Grow out hair long enough to donate to Locks of Love.
- Practice limiting video games to only 30 minutes on weekdays and NO phones whatsoever at the dinner table.
- Learn how to do a new chore (mowing the lawn, sorting laundry) and alternate doing them alongside siblings or parents.
- Find foreign language flashcards and memorize the basic site words.
- Donate a bag full of toys you no longer want or play with to a local shelter or children’s hospital.
Any of these can be adjusted to fit both the goals your child wants to set and the amount of effort you want to spend in holding them accountable. Having these goals in visible view is key, whether they be on the refrigerator, in their locker, or hanging up in their bedroom. If one of their resolutions is not recurring and has been completed, check it or cross it off the list. This will give your child a feeling of accomplishment, and will hopefully inspire them to set another!
Happy New Year!