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The New Year is often a time for adults to decide to make changes in their lives. They can choose to be healthier, happier or more dedicated. New Year’s Resolutions are not a universal idea, but many people have chosen to try their hands at both minor and major changes to better themselves. The idea of using the brand new year to encourage these changes is smart and often effective. But the idea does not stop with adults. Children can also be involved in appropriate New Year’s Resolutions.
Just like adults, children need encouragement to create healthier habits and changes. We can include children in our New Year’s Resolutions by first setting a good example. Kids cannot be expected to create their own ideas in the New Year if the adults around them are not incorporating their own resolutions into the discussion. Parents can use the opportunity to reveal their own areas of improvement and invite children to discuss where they could find positive new things in the New Year.
It is important to show children that their new year’s resolutions are not due to failures in the previous year. Resolutions should be about the continuation of success; children should not focus on the negative aspects of changes they need to make. Adults may have resolutions to quit bad habits. These are not ideas that children should focus on. Instead, reverse the idea and make the resolution about more positives.
Kids should feel as though their change is simply in addition to the great things they have done in the previous year. It should present a challenge, but parents should understand that it is not about changing a child’s behavior. Parents should be open to a variety of possibilities. Resolutions should be entirely up to the child and they should be the creators of their own success. Parents should only encourage positivity and support decisions.
Some great ideas to encourage children in the New Year:
· Maintaining a set homework schedule to complete in a timely manner
· Keeping a calendar of important school due dates
· Trying a new activity or team
· Volunteering in the community
· Keeping a collection
· Finding a new hobby
· Participating in the preparation of meals
Working as a family on one resolution may also be a great way to introduce the idea to children. Find something that the entire family can improve on or try harder to accomplish. For example, being more prompt when travelling or attending events, finding more time to eat together or spend a night in, or taking the opportunities to be outside more often are great cooperative and fun resolutions for an entire family.
This blog was written by Mark Sullivan. Mr. Mark has been a Certified Teacher at The Children's Workshop since 2011. He has worked at five different locations in all classrooms. Mark is pursuing his certifications for Lead Teacher and Director as well as his degree in Education and Management. He lives in Providence, RI.