Earlier I joked that my daughter’s New Year’s resolution should be doing the dishes every night without being told.
What I should have suggested was that she brush her teeth twice a day without whining and complaining.
Then again, that would be more of a miracle than a resolution.
Regardless, she wasn’t very receptive to either proposition.
That’s the thing about New Year’s resolutions; you have to want to make a change in order for them to work.
Still, there are many kids out there, who are more than willing to take on a New Year’s resolution, especially if they see their parents getting in on the time-honored tradition. However, the trick to making a resolution stick is being realistic about the end result.
Your child may seem sincerely motivated to undertake a personal goal for 2012; however, keep in mind that a year is a long time when you are 7 years old. If you are looking to increase the chances of your children achieving their resolutions, be sure their goals are age appropriate.
For example, if you have a preschooler, consider the following resolutions for the upcoming year:
*Help put dirty clothes in hamper
*Remember to wash hands before eating
*Learn how to share with others
*Express feelings with words instead of throwing a tantrum
*Try new foods
For elementary school age children, some practical resolutions include:
*Setting the table for dinner
*Unloading the dishwasher
*Remembering to wear a helmet when bicycling or riding a scooter
*Do homework without being nagged
Another option is to make a New Year’s resolution as a family. Perhaps you could commit to volunteering once a month at a community soup kitchen or pick up trash at a local park. No matter what you decide, be sure the resolution is attainable. Also, consider writing down your resolution on paper and posting it where everyone in the family can see it on a daily basis. Finally, don’t forget to reward yourself and your children when progress is made.