Children and adults alike fall into bad habits. The New Year, with its tradition of resolutions, is an ideal time to start fresh. You’re committing to visiting the gym more and watching less TV, but why not get your kids into the game? After all, there’s room for everyone to do better – young and old.
Make it a Family Affair
Making resolutions means identifying areas that need improvement. And while naming our own points might be easy enough to do, pointing out such things to a child could make them feel like they are under attack.
Rather than calling out things that your children could improve upon, try having each family member name something they’d personally like to work on this year. If you go around the table, with everyone owning their own issues, your children will be more likely to reflect and feel safe doing so.
If your child is struggling to find a resolution that feels do able, offer your assistance if they are open to it. For example, if they have a really messy room, resolving to make it spotless might not be realistic. Instead, they might resolve to make their bed each day or put books away after they’ve read them. Start small and work your way towards the ideal.
“How Can I Help?”
Resolutions are more fun when you have a support system. Your child could be concerned about remembering to make the bed, so chat about ways that you could provide gentle reminders until it becomes habit. If you are trying to curse less often, they’ll relish the role of “Curse Police”– writing you a ticket and charging you a fine every time you slip.
Plan to check in every month or so to see how everyone is doing. If everyone is achieving their goals, perhaps it’s cause to celebrate! If not, you might need to revisit your resolutions to get back on track.
Making New Year’s resolutions a family affair can be a positive and rewarding experience. We are all more successful when we know someone has our back.
Happy New Year!