Many of us make New Year’s resolutions (some of us even keep them!), but when you have a little one, a New Year’s resolution can be more than a promise you make to yourself; it can be an opportunity to teach your child about self-discipline and making change.
Explain to your child what a New Year’s Resolution is and why they may want to considering making one themselves. A resolution to a child can be explained not only as a change to be made, but a goal and a promise. Use positive words in your explanation, emphasizing positive behaviors intended to be implemented, as opposed to negative behaviors one wishes to discontinue. Ask your child about things they were proud of over the last year, and use those accomplishments to create (age- and developmentally appropriate) examples of possibilities for them. By helping to create tangible achievable resolutions, we are providing them measurable goals in a way they can understand.
Of course, parents must set the example; we need to hold ourselves accountable to our resolutions, as well. Your child watching you stay focused and following through with a self-promise provides them a model of how to be successful themselves. It also motivates them to achieve the same positive results, or even just their parents’ praise!
By instilling these important qualities of self-discipline and accountability at a young age, we are providing invaluable tools for their life-long character development, and setting them up to be empowered, confident decision-makers in the future.
Have you and your children ever made New Year’s Resolutions together? What did you and your family learn from the experience?