6 Easy Tips to Help Your Child Make New Year’s Resolutions
Help your child make new year’s resolutions this 2023!
With a fresh new year upon us, now is the perfect opportunity to help kids ages 7–12 cultivate their own personal growth and discover what it means for them to strive towards becoming their best selves.
Our children are growing in mindfulness and understanding others’ perspectives. As parents, we can provide guidance as they make resolutions that will shape who they become throughout the coming year.
Jumpstart 2023 by encouraging your kids to make resolutions on how they will expand themselves both inside and out over the next 12 months. It’s never too early (or late!) to plant those seeds of growth! Empower your children by nurturing an exciting journey ahead filled with all possibilities.
Why not make the new year an opportunity for growth and change as a family?
Try involving your children in the process of making their own resolutions—it could be fun and exciting, as well as lead to valuable bonding! Here are some great tips on how you can help:
1. Be Resolution Role Models
As parents, it’s essential to practice what you preach. You have to walk the walk and talk the talk to be most effective.
Share your Resolutions with your Kids
Bring your personal goals to the table. This is a great thing to do as a whole family. Your kids will definitely look to you to learn how to approach this task.
Explain Why you Made your Resolutions
Make an effort to explain your resolutions clearly, age-appropriately, and inspire kids to do the same.
Show by Example
You cannot urge children to make resolutions that you yourself do not follow. If what you want is for your kids to be out the door earlier, you need to work on yourself. Let’s not demand them to do more than we are willing to do.
2. Keep a Positive Approach to Resolutions
Setting goals on New Year’s has a celebratory feel that is unlike any other time of year.
Present things in a positive light. Every day’s a new day, and you have a chance to reinvent yourself. You have the opportunity to start over every day.
Start by listing your children’s accomplishments over the previous year. Be the historian of their past victories. Instead of pointing out inadequacies or failures, point to the bright spot where they’re doing something good.
Discuss with your children what they can do now that they couldn’t do last year. For example, say your 10-year-old recently mastered a challenging tune on the piano. Did their success come about because they pushed themselves a little harder? Remind them of how far they’ve come with that extra effort. Then, ask your child, “How can you apply your piano accomplishments to something else?”
You’ve set the stage. Now, look ahead and ask, “What are some of the great things you want to do this year?” “What do you want to change or improve?” and “What will make your life better and happier?”
3. Suggest instead of dictating resolutions
Parents’ main concern at this point is whether they should set goals for their kids. Most likely not, since you want to teach youngsters how to set their own goals.
Kids should make their own resolutions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them advice. Some ways to help include:
- Suggesting general categories for change
- Guiding your child to set their own goals
- Making sure they’re age-appropriate
The first step is to listen. Ask them what they want for themselves. If it’s your agenda that’s driving the conversation, then you’re not listening.
Create Some Categories
Most children require some direction. So come up with three or four broad categories—such as personal goals, friendship goals, helping goals, and academic goals—and let them fill in the details.
Identifying Material Goals
Your child may also have material goals, like collecting toys. Don’t say, “That’s not a good goal.” Instead, be receptive to what matters to them. It’s a great way to engage your children in meaningful conversation and learn more about their perspectives.
4. Keep the list of resolutions as short as possible.
It’s essential to avoid making too many resolutions at the end. Two or three are actually reasonable.
We don’t want to teach our children that creating a long list of resolutions and then breaking them is a good idea. Assist your child in selecting only a few of these to concentrate on.
Make SMART goals
This can be an excellent way to introduce your kids to SMART goals—are they specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound?
Be concrete, specific, and manageable. Vague but well-intentioned resolutions don’t alter anything, just like with grownups. Instead, support goals that are within their reach to keep them motivated. For instance, saying “I will behave better” is too generic and will quickly be forgotten.
Some realistic resolutions for children could be:
- I’ll keep my room more organized.
- I’m going to be a better sibling.
- I’ll read more.
- I’m going to improve my piano skills.
Let your child make the list a fun and personal goal.
Put forth “turtle steps”
One of the most crucial lessons we can impart to our children is how to turn a good goal into a habit. It is the secret to a happy existence. Parents should assist children in breaking down their resolutions into absurdly little turtle steps.
Your children can work toward their long-term objectives by setting smaller goals. For example, if your child’s resolution is “I’m going to learn piano,” they could write down six tiny, easy steps and practice one each week.
5. Follow up, but don’t nag about resolutions.
It’s acceptable to check in with kids once a week and express your appreciation for how they’re doing, but you can’t force them to do it. Remember, once you make it external with rewards, you lose them.
A lapse is forgetting for a day or two or having a week in which a turtle step didn’t work. That’s not failure; that’s just trying. No big change is ever completed flawlessly, so don’t worry about lapses; expect them instead.
If your child isn’t making headway with a resolution, acknowledge how difficult it is. It sounds like an excellent idea, but it’s hard to follow through. Try not to nag about this. Ask, “What’s getting in the way of you?” Help them rediscover their enthusiasm for it.
Try to frame the resolutions and hang them as a reminder on the wall to prevent parental nagging. Ensure that the resolutions are accessible so you can find them easily. You could have a routine every month in which you bring them out and talk about how you’re all doing.
Be Flexible and Adaptable
Of course, you can always change the plan if it isn’t working. If you lose your way, figure out another way to get there.
6. Make Family Resolutions Together
In particular, when families resolve to set goals together, resolutions can strengthen family bonds. Families could decide to participate in one act of charity each month and come up with ideas for it. For instance, you might perform community work or donate gently used clothing and toys to a shelter. That’s a wonderful thing to do, as you’re working on it together.
Another idea is for everyone to make two personal New Year’s resolutions and two collective family resolutions, such as visiting the kids’ grandparents or planning a trip to Disney World.
Make family time a priority! This coming new year, commit to having more fun with your kids by setting achievable goals and resolutions as a unit. Enjoy quality moments together while also helping them make meaningful changes in their lives—the best of both worlds!
Did you find this article helpful? Check out our other blog posts at the Confident Voice Studio blog.