New Year's Resolutions for Your Family
We are only a few weeks into the new year, so it's not too late to get those last minute resolutions and habits mapped out. Better late than never, right? The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published recommendations for "healthy new year's resolutions" for children of all ages.
Too Early to Start Making Resolutions?
Parents may wonder if children are capable of making and following through with a resolution for the new year. This may depend on your child, but your attitude and excitement about setting goals and a fresh start in the new year is also important. Kids model the behaviors they see, and if this exercise is treated as a fun and healthy one, your kids will likely jump on the bandwagon.
Forming a Habit
For little children, or kids who are on busy schedules with school and extracurricular activities, the idea of forming good habits over time might be an easier concept to tackle. Instead of crafting a long list of "resolutions," families can work with their child to pick a few habits that the child might like to develop. Then, the child focuses solely on that one habit for a period of 30, 60, or even 90 days. This might be getting in the habit of making the bed, flossing teeth, or even reading at night before bed. The key is to pick one so it is not overwhelming. After a while, the task becomes second nature, and the victory of forming this habit will spur the child to pick up other healthy habits.
Put it in Writing in a Visible Place
Once your child has crafted a resolution or decided on a habit, write it down! There is power in putting the idea to paper. You can help your child with this if they are really little. Then, display this in a visible place--fridge, family bulletin board, bathroom mirror, etc. Starting this process in childhood is a great gift you can give your child, as they will be able to use these tools throughout their lives.
The American Academy of Pediatrics Tips to Get Started
Ready to go? As you start brainstorming with your child, check out these age appropriate recommendations and tips. Good luck, and I wish you and your children a very productive and habit-filled 2016!
Kids, 5-12 years old
Kids, 13 and up
Kathryn Boortz has a passion for working with youth and their families. She is the founder of Boortz Law, a law firm that focuses on juvenile defense.