The New Year is often thought of as a fresh start, a new beginning, a time for change. New Year’s resolutions are not just for adults, kids can benefit too. Creating their own resolutions can help kids with self-reflection, goal-setting, responsibility, self-discipline, and persistence. Here are some tips:
1. Make it a family affair. This allows the family to focus on being supportive of each other. Make it a tradition that every December the family sits down and reflects upon the successes and challenges of the past year and sets goals for the forthcoming year.
2. Encourage your child to have different goals within different domains, maybe one for home, one for social interactions, one for school. In this way, they can have goals that are more serious and some that are more fun.
3. Do not dictate goals to your child. Rather, allow them to choose, with a little guidance on your part. They will be more motivated to reach goals that they have set. Ask “what subject in school do you find the most difficult?” “What would help you with that subject?”
4. Take into account your child’s developmental age. A preschooler might choose to work on listening or sharing. A preteen might choose to work on eating healthier. The whole family might work on being more active.
5. Be sure the goals are concrete and realistic. Talk through the small steps needed to work towards the final result. Routinely check in. You do not want to check in in a nagging way but rather in a supportive, what is going well and what is a challenge, type of way.