The days leading up to the New Year can often be hectic and stressful as parents organize travel plans, finalize childcare arrangements, and think about goals to accomplish in the upcoming year. During this period, parents reflect on the mistakes and blunders made in the old year so they can apply the lessons they’ve learned in the new year. Families can also use this time to think about ways to cultivate better relationships, discuss opportunities for growth and change, and prepare for the year ahead. Parents should welcome this chance to include their children in making resolutions. Some suggestions to encourage children to make their own goals are listed below.
Keep a Positive Approach
Begin the conversation by discussing the good things that your child accomplished during this last year and pivot the dialogue to how he or she can translate that to new successes.
Keep Goals Relevant to your Child’s Interests
Suggest, don’t dictate, goals to your children. Make sure that he or she drives the conversation rather than telling them what to do. Your child has to want to set and reach this goal. His or her particular goals should depend on their challenges, abilities, and interests.
Concentrate on the Specific Aspects of a Goal
Parents should emphasize the importance of concentrating on the aspects of a resolution rather than focusing solely on the big picture. If a goal is too broad it can be more difficult to complete, leaving children to feel discouraged. When your child says “I’m going to eat healthier,” ask him or her to break it down into more tangible actions. Will your child drink more milk instead of soda? Eat more fruit? Details matter! You also want to make sure that the goals are reasonable and age-appropriate. Two or three goals is a healthy number for your child to focus on. Occasionally follow-up with your child but don’t nag about lapses. If your child doesn’t achieve their objective, discuss how he or she might do things differently next time.
Instilling the Importance of Kindness
Parents should focus on incorporating acts of kindness into their household. Discuss supporting a charity throughout the year and ways your child can give back to the local community, perhaps by volunteering at their local library or at an animal shelter.
Significance of Resolutions and How They Impact Your Life
Simple goals for children can be to learn new things or develop healthier habits such as eating less junk food and exercising more. All of these will serve them well as they transition into adulthood. As with all things, children tend to follow their parent’s example. Parents should try to discuss their personal resolutions with their children. With encouragement and support from other family members, everyone will do their best to stay on track. Another good way to teach the significance of resolutions and how they impact your life is to make them as a family. Some recommendations include the following:
Spend More Time Together
Due to everyone’s hectic schedules, it can be difficult to find time to spend together but use the new year as a chance to strengthen family bonding. Make a vow to spend one night a week together. Fun activities to partake in as a family include reading together, engaging in game night and participating in themed scavenger hunts. Part of spending time together also includes reducing screen usage. A “no screens” rule should be enacted when everyone is together. Additional thoughts on how we can use technology as a family and how to limit screen time can be found here and here.
Stay Active with your Children
Make a commitment this year to stay active and get outside more with the kids. Outdoor activities for the family include hiking, bike-riding, and camping, even in your own backyard!
Healthy meal planning and preparation: For many working parents, it can be difficult to find the time to shop for groceries, prepare meals that satiate everyone’s hunger, and then clean-up. Hiring a part-time nanny to complete these tasks is a great way to alleviate some of the burden, allowing adults to spend more time with their kids. Studies have indicated that eating dinner together strengthens familial ties. Quick and easy recipes that children can assist with can be found here and parents can also try to make tidying up a part of a child’s chore list.
Don’t Overschedule Yourself
Don’t try to stretch yourself or your child too thin. Feel comfortable saying no to things both at home and in the workplace. You will find that you are more relaxed and can carry out the activities you do with ease and efficiency.
Schedule Date Nights with your Children
Scheduled time away from the children is essential to a strong marriage. Date nights are a way of improving your relationship and helping adults re-connect outside of time with the kids. Plus, it shows children that parents have a life separate from them, an example that they can carry with them once they become adults.
Discuss at dinner what’s important to everyone and try to incorporate everyone’s wishes and requests into the household lifestyle. Your family can only grow stronger as a result. From all of us at the Nanny Authority, we wish you a happy holiday and look forward to assisting you in the new year.