It is hard to believe 2016 is already coming to an end! The New Year provides an opportunity for every member of your family to start fresh with a new beginning. Resolutions are a great way to help kids develop positive and healthy habits as they grow up, however creating age-appropriate and attainable goals with your children is a task that often times proves to be a challenge. Your Local Kids has got you covered with ideas, tips, and suggestions to make planning and executing goals for the whole family in the New Year a snap!
Brainstorm & Create Resolutions as a Family
Sitting down together as a family is an effective way to teach your children the importance of setting resolutions and planning steps on an appropriate timeline to achieve them. Reflecting on the last year and discussing what can be improved on as individuals and as a family is a great jumping point to selecting your resolutions for the upcoming year.
Deciding on a couple goals for the family as a whole in addition to individual goals is an effective way to foster accountability. Having pre-scheduled family time can be an added bonus! You could commit to going on a family hike once a month, volunteering for a local charity, or something as simple as putting down electronics during dinner or family time. For more ideas, click here for parenting.com’s list of 10 Family Resolutions for the New Year.
In keeping with the theme of accountability and follow through, you can take this time as a group to create a finalized list of family and individual resolutions that can be hung in a common area so that nothing is forgotten. Mom and Dad can do all the writing, and kids can break out the crayons and markers and get creative while decorating!
Make Resolutions Age-Appropriate & Attainable
Narrowing the list of resolutions down two or three attainable and age-appropriate goals per child is a great way to ensure that no one in your family feels overwhelmed. Keep in mind that being too vague or broad will decrease the chances of your children actually following through. Be specific, and come up with a few smaller steps that ultimately help children reach their final goal. For example, if your child’s resolution is to help more around the house, list 4 or 5 small chores they can do weekly. This can all be laid out on your family’s master list of resolutions! Kids will feel a sense of accomplishment and a boost in self-esteem as they check off their steps and can see – on paper – that they are successfully fulfilling their obligations and promises.
Lead by Example, Give Gentle Reminders, & Use Rewards
By actively working on completing your own resolutions, you will be setting an example and providing motivation for your children to do the same. Like anything else, kids see and mimic the behavior of the grown-ups in their lives. Pick a time every so often to sit down with your kids and your family’s list of resolutions to review your individual and family goals. Assess what has been successfully accomplished and which aspects need more attention. Take this time to acknowledge and reward your children’s successes. Make sure the reward is appropriate for the level of success. If they accomplished some of their smaller steps, treat them to additional screen time or an inexpensive new toy. If they’ve successfully tackled one of their larger resolutions, plan a couple hours of fun. You can find plenty of activities to choose from in our Events Calendar. Don’t nag or punish children for their shortcomings as this can be discouraging for them. Simply point out what they can improve on and let them know that doing so will earn them another reward! Be sure to keep an eye on their progress and provide them with gentle reminders if you notice them forgetting certain things. This will help them keep the momentum and motivation for the completion of their next goal!