As we enter into a new year, we often find ourselves looking back on our accomplishments and failures of the year before. We look within and reflect upon the new, untouched year. It is important to include our families in our observations of our past year. Setting a list of New Year Resolutions can be a wonderful time to teach our children the value of looking to the future with optimism and hope.
This year, make New Year Resolutions about bringing the family together. Doing this will help the family grow closer as they learn what’s important to each member individually. It will also help teach your children the value of settings goals for themselves. Vowing to stick to a New Year Resolution can also instill self-discipline and teach value of self-growth. Plus, it puts a positive focus in your child’s mind as they enter into the New Year and new semester at school.
It’s important to make sure that each child’s goals are customized to their personalities and ages. This is where how well you know each child can be helpful as you can assist in guiding them towards areas that they need to focus on. For instance, maybe your eldest struggles with maintaining good eating habits and your middle child would rather be on the couch than playing in the backyard. After you’ve has each child make a list of things they want to improve on, make time to talk with each child individually in order to discuss their goals more specifically.
Ask your kids if there is anything they would like to implement in the New Year that would help with bringing the family together even more. Maybe you’d like to start planning a monthly family outing to go hiking or bowling. Maybe you’d like to implement bi-weekly family nights where you play games or watch movies. You can also use this time to discuss how chores and systems for maintaining household duties have been working. Should they stay the same or do they need change? is each child holding up their end, or does some re-evaluating need to be done? Once you’ve come up with 3 or so family resolutions, make a fun poster that can be hung on the refrigerator or somewhere central to serve as a reminder to the whole family. Also, have each child make a poster for their individual rooms as well in order to keep their goals in the forefront of their minds.
Focus On The Positive
As the year progresses, help each child remember their goals by reminding them at appropriate times. Keep in mind however that New Year Resolutions are not written in stone. If a a goal one of your children has set is obviously not working for them by the time a few months have passed, then site down with that child and help them figure our a new and better way they can accomplish that same goal. Also, if by next December you find that certain personal or family goals still aren’t being met, don’t despair! Remember that New Year Resolutions are designed to be fun and positive things. Encourage your children and help them reformulate un-reached goals for the next year. Keep the focus on moving forward. After all, the greatest benefit of setting these goals is that it brings the family together in a positive way that promotes communication and encouragement!