Family Life, Family Travel, Holidays

Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Kids

It’s not easy to keep resolutions, I should know, I’ve kept exactly none in my whole life.

But, that doesn’t stop me from telling my daughter, my husband and you what’s good for you and in my helpful way, showing you how to do it.
Resolutions– much like people and politics– come in many shapes and sizes, each with different needs to fill. Finding a balance is good, because otherwise, they can seem completely unattainable by say, the second week of January. But helping kids with resolutions teaches them goal-setting, discipline, and a desire to improve oneself. All great skills to have at any age. They can generally fall into three main categories, and bearing this in mind when helping your child decide on a resolution is helpful, because it will allow you to guide them in how they define it. And let’s be real- we’re in it to win it.

Lifestyle Resolutions

These are those little things that can make life better and easier (That’s why wine will be my personal resolution). They can be as simple as ‘being more thankful’. Resolutions don’t have to be earth shattering. These are also great resolutions for the family to participate in (not the wine one). Let your kids be the ones to monitor family progress, it gives them authority. Think– turning off lights when you leave a room, reducing screen time, family meals at the table with no TV (maybe start with 3 dinners a week?), recycling.
*My family resolution of which they are still unaware; use only one roll of paper towels a month (utilizing the sponge or dishtowel more frequently).

Habit Resolutions

These can be ridding a bad habit, like biting nails (I’m looking at you, Peanut), doing homework or putting laundry in hamper. Or creating new, healthy habits, such as trying a new sport or vegetable. Or sporty vegetable. Don’t expect miracles overnight. The key is getting their buy-in. Not constantly fussing at your child is key. Only make breaking a bad habit, one (if any) of their resolutions. Resolutions should be fun, as well!
A resolution Peanut and I made last year that is now a happy habit–  always saying ‘I love you’ at school drop-off. No matter what.

Measurable Resolutions

These are things that they can be defined, measured, and achieved. It’s important to include at least one in their resolutions so they see  it’s been accomplished – and feel pride when it is. Examples include: reading five chapter books, learning to ride a bike, or tasting new food twice before declaring a bitter hatred for it. Let your child come up with this resolution herself, and also how she would like to measure her success. Make a big deal when she achieves it!
Don’t forget that your child is making his own resolution, you’re not making it for him. You can be there to help. Give suggestions, and teach him why it’s important. Why recycle? Why are family meals important? 

Five Resolutions That Every Child/Or Family Can Make

  • Family meals at the table – no TV peeking, no phones on table.
  • Family walk – because; exercise. Also, this is a great time to reconnect and learn about what’s happening in their adorable lives.
  • Going green – start recycling, composting, or using reusable snack bags. Purchase your child’s every-day-banging-around-the-house clothes from thrift and secondhand stores. 
  • Learn a skill – bike riding, whistling, calligraphy, you name it- it’s a skill. In our house, folding laundry in a manner that doesn’t give me an aneurism is a skill. 
  • Helping others­ – this can be saving a certain amount for charity, baking cookies once a month for the local retirement center, or helping parents break a bad habit such as smoking, or high stakes gambling in formal wear.

But my last bit of advise is this – don’t overextend. Your kid may be happy with just one resolution, or with none. That’s ok. You need to resolve to not stress over it.

Ann Herren is the publisher of nola family magazine.

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