When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, we may be doing our children a disservice. Often, we set lofty goals for ourselves and declare them boldly to all who will listen, including our children. We strive to teach our children about the rewards of reaching their goals through hard work. Watching parents set New Year’s resolutions and then toss them aside by the end of January sends the wrong message. This year, why don’t we try something a little different? Set Family New Year’s resolutions together.
The best way to teach your children the value of New Year’s resolutions is by making it part of the family tradition. Sit down each December and reflect on the past year, discussing your accomplishments and goals. Set your family’s New Year’s resolutions together, allowing the kids to take ownership in the goal setting for the new year.
We have compiled a list of family-friendly New Year’s resolutions to give you some ideas to begin this new tradition.
1. Start a weekly ritual.
For instance, once a week have a family movie night. Snuggle up on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn and show your kids the movies you loved when you were young. Another option: Have a game night. From charades and "Name that Tune" to Uno, Trivial Pursuit, or chess, you can probably find a game the whole family will enjoy.
2. Volunteer as a family.
Make a list of various ways that you want to help others this year, and then figure out a plan to make them happen. From participating in a charity walk to collecting used blankets, towels, and toys for an animal shelter, there are endless possibilities of ways to help.
3. Exercise together.
The key is to make it fun! Depending on your child's age, you can sign up for a yoga class or make an effort to take a walk or bike together. Exercise is notoriously a tough New Year's resolution to stick with, so make it goal-oriented: Train for a 5K together, Color Run, or Spartan Race, aim to hike a particular trail, or make it a family challenge by awarding points for certain activities.
4. Put. Down. Devices.
You've probably heard this one before, but it seems our addiction to electronics is getting worse and worse. Make this the year that you make a strict rule in your household: No phones, computers, and other devices at mealtime. It's amazing how refreshing and rewarding it is to have a conversation with actual eye contact. In other words, connect by disconnecting.
5. Read a Little More.
It's not only a good way to spend time together, but reading to your child, with your child, and in front of your child will also help them grow as readers.
Hopefully, these ideas will help as you set new goals for your family in 2017. Happy New Year from Delk & Tomlinson Law!