When the ball drops chances are you are thinking of your own resolutions for the new year, but what about your kids? More than three quarters (77%) of teens aged 13-18 made New Year’s resolutions last year on everything from losing weight to learning the banjo, according to All Children’s Hospital.
Not only can having a new year’s resolution benefit you and your family, but it can benefit your kids as well. For many kids a new year’s resolution can teach them about setting goals and self-discipline, according to PBS Parents. Helping your child create their new year’s resolution can be an important activity to help them recognize their goals. Here are a few things you can do to not only help them set their goals, but to help them reach it.
Start with a Family Resolution
One of the easiest ways to teach your kids, especially younger kids about new year’s resolutions is to start by making a family resolution. This can be anything from making a resolution to spend at least 2 nights a week exercising together to resolving to have more family meals. One great resolution your family can make is to make sure everyone gets enough sleep each night, says Anna Wahlgren. This is something everyone can try to do on their own that can have a positive effect on the family as a whole.
You can also have your kids make resolutions together. For example, your kids can make a resolution to be nicer to their brothers and sisters, or they can even resolve to help each other with chores. This goes beyond their own personal goals because it holds them accountable if they decide to quit.
Another great way to make resolutions is to make a vision board. Have your kids include pictures of what they want to do and ways that they can meet their goals. It is a fantastic way to get them excited and motivated.
Help Kids Set Age-Appropriate Goals
One of the biggest ways you can help your kids set a new year’s resolution is by finding out what they want to do and to help make sure the goal they are setting is age appropriate. Your preschooler may be eager to learn how to ride a horse this year, but there are some resolutions that should be reigned in a little. One of the most important things about a resolution is that it is something that can be done rather than some far-off and highly unreachable goal.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that preschool aged kids focus on small things. For example, good resolutions for a preschooler might be to stop torturing the family dog, or to brush their teeth and pick up their toys every day. As they get older you can encourage them to grow their goals a little more. For example, kids between 5 and 12 can make a resolution to try a new sport or activity, wear a bicycle helmet, or buckle up every time they get into the car.
When your child finally becomes a teen, you can encourage them to go for even more lofty goals. One of the best resolutions you can help your teen make is to volunteer in the community more, which can help their chances of getting into college while helping make the world a better place. Another great teen resolution is not to text while driving. Knowing they have to stick to the goal for a whole year will help them understand the importance of sticking with it.
Stay Positive and Supportive
Aside from meeting your own goals and remaining a positive role model, it can be imperative that you are supportive throughout the year when it comes to your kid’s goals. All Children’s Hospital recommends that you help your kids make a plan to reach their goal. Once they have chosen their resolution, try to help them figure out how they will reach it– this might mean making charts or setting reminders in their cell phones, but make a plan.
It is also important to remind your child of the goals that they set throughout the year. Hold them accountable and teach them how to hold themselves to the same standards to which you hold yourself. If they have vowed to volunteer once a month, remind them every month and offer to give them a ride. Give them gentle support if they think they can’t do it and show them how to get back on track. This can help remind you to stick to your goals as well.
New Year’s Resolutions can be fun and they can be empowering. For more information on New Year’s resolutions and events going on around the Bay Area to celebrate New Year’s Eve, visit TBParenting.com/newyears2015.