“New Year’s Resolutions…with my kids? Did I hear you right?”
“But New Year’s Resolutions are grown-up things. Times when we look back on things we regret and change our behavior so we can, hopefully, feel better about ourselves in the next year. I don’t want to get my kids thinking negatively or hurting their self-esteem.”
Exactly. Too many adults approach resolutions as a painful chore. Something they do because they regret things from the previous year—weight gain, poor spending habits, bad relationships, etc.—and want to try and have a different experience in the next year.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. In fact, when you make resolutions a family affair, something shared between parent and child, it can become an incredibly positive and relationship-building tradition!
How? Glad you asked. When kids are involved, it can change your entire perspective on the goal-setting process.
Positive Experiences vs. Negative Change
- – Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of resolutions, like dieting or otherwise limiting yourself in some way, try to think of resolutions that promote things like personal growth, new experiences, and simply enjoying life.
- – Your kids are already masters of calling you out when you misstep. It might be frustrating when they do it on their own, but if you ask them to help you achieve a resolution, they’ll joyfully help keep you on track towards your yearly goals.
- – By sharing personal goals and yearly dreams with your kids, you’ll encourage a feeling that you’re all in this together. Plus, the tradition of setting down family resolutions is a definite opportunity to bring everyone together in a caring and sharing activity.
Thrill of Accomplishment
- – Don’t just set goals. Set rewards to, for when those goals are met! That way you all have something to look forward to alongside the positive benefits of the resolutions you’ve set. Make it something the whole family can enjoy, such as a fun outing, a big meal, or maybe a few gifts.
So ditch the old solitary, stressful resolutions like only eating celery for a month, restricting the budget, or hitting the treadmill longer. Instead, swap them out for family-oriented resolutions that encourage positive values, long-term healthy living and thinking, and joyful experiences—like going on more hikes together, making more family meals, playing with arts and crafts, or weekly game nights.
What resolutions might your family love to fulfill together?