The year is winding down and the folks in Shady Pines Story Town are looking ahead. They’re turning their attention to New Year’s resolutions. These first-of-the-year goals are fun to discuss and write down, but often hard to follow all year long.
So, how do the adults in our community guide children to make good resolutions? We turn to some parenting experts for their advice. They say it’s important to be upbeat, make it a fun activity, and try not to force ideas but let kids come up with their own. Here’s a way to start:
Lead by Example
- If you want your family to make healthy eating a priority this year, explain what that a healthy diet means for you with examples like:
“You know how much your dad and I love pizza. This year we’re going to eat less pizza and have more fruits and vegetables instead.” “We want to have more family dinners. So, we’re going to limit the amount of fast food we eat, and instead make more meals together.”
Be Specific by Setting Goals
- Start with some broad categories like personal, friendship, helping and school goals.
Asking questions can help you gauge which of these categories are most important to them. Some examples: “Can you think of some things you might do better or differently? Do you remember a time when you might have been nicer to someone at school? Or, treated your brother or sister better? Are there ways to share more with your friends? How about helping out more around the house?”
Attach Action to the Resolutions
Let’s say your child’s resolution is to keep his or her room clean. Have them write down six easy steps they can practice each week, like:
Week #1: I will put my shoes in the closet at night
Week #2: I will put my toys away after playing with them
Some other ideas:
- I will help around the house – by doing the dishes
- I will improve my reading – by reading 15 minutes before I go to bed
- I will eat more healthy foods – by eating one fruit at breakfast and one vegetable at dinner
Build Upon Success
Experts agree it takes up to six weeks to create a habit so do this for a month and a half and see how things are going. You and the kids can always start adding things to build upon successes.
Here’s to a great 2019!!!