How (and Why) to Make New Year’s Resolutions with Your Family

In my  JANUARY 2012 -Family Matters with Amber Column I wrote about Why Children are Never Too Young to Make New Year’s Resolutions & How to Help Them Succeed.

I believe that as long as a child is old enough to talk and understand, think and reason, he or she is ready to make goals.

New Year’s is a terrific time to teach them about this.

We are usually preparing to do it ourselves anyway, so doing it together can foster family bonds.

Just because we’re adults, does not mean we are perfect. Kids like to know that. They want to know they can come to you with their problems. If you show them that you have weaknesses too, you appear more approachable…more real.

Lets face a fact here, a lot of our issues as adults will eventually plague our kids anyways, whether they are simple or complicated, some will be inherited through genes, while others will become learned behaviors and so what better way to work on them than together.

It’s no fun admitting we are imperfect…it can make us feel like a real failure, but if we look to our flaws as a way to be closer to our children, than we can look at it as a positive.

For about a year, my ten year old and I worked together on a weakness we both had. We both had a tendency to get distracted easily, so after sitting down and discussing our problem, we created a phrase that would help each of us remind the other when we were not focused. The phrase was ‘Stay on Task’. If she was getting up and dawdling during homework time, I could say, ‘Stay on Task’. To which she would gently smile at me and get back to finishing her work. If I seemed distracted and had a project I was not completing, she could say ‘Mommy, Stay on Task’ and I would get back to what it was I should have been doing (with a smile of course).

Setting New Year’s Resolutions with your children can be a very rewarding experience and can be as simple as One Word.

If your child has the gimmes and you can tend to be negative at times, teach yourselves Gratitude. Each time your child hears you sigh, gripe or say something negative, ask them to remind you of ‘Our Word’. Likewise, when your child whines, has an issue with you saying ‘no’, or is ungrateful they only got one cookie instead of two, remind them of ‘Our Word’ Gratitude.

It’s not easy being a parent, and deciding on what you need to teach your children can be even more difficult.

One thing that you can teach every day is how to be humble by admitting that you’re not perfect and allowing forgiveness (of yourself and of others).

All in all, teach them to grow
 with a New Year’s Resolution.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Here are some other ways to Teach Gratitude to Children:

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