For much of the United States, January 2nd is when life resumes business as usual. It's a brand new year and even though 2018 began yesterday, it seems to me that today is when it really begins. School schedules begin ramping up again. Work schedules have or soon will return to normal. Over the past few days, you may have been thinking about your new year's resolutions. Maybe you want to lose a few pounds, start pursuing a dream you've had, or something else. If you're a parent though, have you thought about explaining resolutions to your children? Better yet, have you made resolutions to benefit your children? I hope this blog is useful in helping you do both!
Explaining Resolutions to Children
What is a resolution? This might be a question that one of your children may ask you. I think the easiest way to explain a resolution is to tell kids that there is something that is a problem or causes trouble in your life and a resolution is something we do to try to solve the problem. By calling it a resolution, it makes it more of a promise to stay the course and not quit trying the whole year long. Giving examples is another really good thing to do. If the problem is that your clothes don't fit anymore, the promise is to exercise a little each day so that your clothes will fit better. If the problem is that you don't have enough clean dishes for dinner, the promise is that you will load and run the dishwasher each night before bed so you always have clean dishes in the morning. Depending on the age of your child, you may want to use examples that make more sense to them such as cleaning up their toys or putting laundry in the hamper.
Help Your Children Make a Resolution
Sit down with your kiddos and start by making a list. Ask questions such as "is there anything in your life that you could do better?" or "do you see any problems in our house?" If they can't think of anything, have some examples prepared that might get the juices flowing. My ideas would be having less screen time, cleaning rooms, more physical activity, or picking our school clothes the night before. These suggestions are all manageable for children and may also contribute to the organization of the home. Once your child has decided on one or more resolutions, help them write them down and hang them somewhere in your house where they are going to serve as a reminder of their commitment. This helps to ensure that the resolutions are not easily forgotten. Additionally, throughout the year, it's a good thing to ask your kiddos about how things are going and remind them of their promise if needed.
I recently read an article about New Year's resolutions. In this article, one of the tips was for the family to make a resolution or two as a whole. I thought this was a fantastic idea! I'm sure this never happens to you, but my four littles occasionally (read frequently) bicker about things. This idea of resolving things as a family unit really piqued my interest. It got me thinking. What if we all promised to line up our shoes by the door each night before going to bed? I wonder it we could save time ironing if we all put away our laundry the same day it comes out of the dryer? Maybe we commit to having a family game night at least one night each week. Yes! This is a great idea!
As parents, we can also make the decision to improve our parenting as well. What better resolution than one that benefits your children, right? Here are some resolution ideas specifically designed for parents:
- Counting to 10 before you issue a consequence.
- Going device free for 30 minutes each night and replacing that with play.
- Cooking a homemade meal at least three times per week.
- Scheduling a family outing once each month.
- Reading with your children at least three times per week.
Resolving to be Better at Life
No matter what the drive or reason for your resolution, the reality is we all want to be better humans. We want to be healthy, be more successful, and happy. Let's all celebrate the journey and make some awesome resolutions. New year, new you! Now, go get 'em!