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New Year’s resolutions are great for kids and teens as they sometimes need to make these promises to themselves and you, in order to organize their goals for the coming year.
Here are some great tips to help your child choose specific, achievable resolutions to set them up for success in the New Year.
First, start off by explaining what a resolution is and giving examples of ones they have set in past years. You don’t want your child to feel like something is wrong with them now; instead, frame the conversation as something that could be done better. If your child suggests well-intentioned but vague ideas like “be healthier” try to help them develop those ideas into tangible actions that can be done every day such as “spend 30 minutes outside every day”.
Next, make sure to remember that resolutions should always be discussed in a positive way. For example, their resolution should be worded, “I’m going to do this…” instead of “I’m going to STOP doing this…”
Some Great Pediatric Resolutions Include:
Healthier Eating - Target an area you and your child need to improve upon and discuss why it is important. If you want to eat less fast food, talk about what you are going to eat instead. Or if your child is trying to eat more vegetables, agree on a specific number for the day or week.
Examples of some specific New Year’s Resolution in regards to healthier eating:
- “I’m going to drink two glasses of milk each day instead of soda or juice”
- “I’m going to eat two pieces of fruit at lunch each time”
More physical activity (exercise) - this is always a good resolution but keep in mind that the work “exercise” can be boring. Try to make it sound fun so your child is more likely to stick to it such as:
- “I’m going to join a soccer team”
Screen time - It is not enough to simply say “we are going to decrease screen time”. Quanitfy how much you and your child will reduce and what they will be doing instead such as:
- “I’m going to limit screen time to 30 minutes per day and read before bed instead of watching TV”
Social Resolutions - A social resolution should always be tailored to your child and an area where they would like to improve upon.
Great examples of these are:
- “I’m going to do one random act of kindness a week”
- “I’m going to talk to one person at school I’ve never met each week”
Helping around the house - Committing to chores is always smart as it makes kids feel needed and useful. Plus, you’ll get a little help around the house!
Examples of these resolutions include:
- “I’m going to set the table for dinner every night”
- “I’m going to make my bed every morning”
Educational resolutions - Learning new skills is always a great resolution and can be a great source of family time.
Examples of these include:
- “I’m going to learn how to make chocolate chip cookies”
- “I’m going to learn how to speak Spanish”
Family time - commit to spending more time as a family!
- “We’re going to have game night every Saturday”
- “We’re going to eat dinner together every weekday”
Don’t forget, that when it comes to resolutions, it is important for you, the parent, to lead by example and don’t be afraid to adjust your goals along the way if they’re becoming stale or if you actually accomplish them!
We understand that children of all ages are filling their holiday wish list with technology such as: tablets, cell phones, headphones and other tech-related gifts however, it’s important as a parent, to set limits, and make sure your child has technology free time. The holidays are a great time to help children “disconnect” and get back to the basics in childhood play by providing your child with gifts that foster communication and social interaction.
Ideas for a Low-Tech Holiday Gift List:
- Traditional toys - Did you know traditional toys still remain superior to electronic toys for children’s language development? Blocks, dolls, musical instruments, cars, trains, shape-sorters, and other low-tech toys get kids and parents talking, singing, playing and interacting. When toys talk, parents talk less which subsequently means that kids vocalize less. Make sure to put some traditional toys under your tree this year to help your child build fundamental communication skills.
- Books - Helping to spread the joy of reading is a lifelong gift
- For infants and toddlers look for books with textures inviting touch or colorful board and picture books
- Give books appropriate to your child’s skill level to facilitate emerging literacy for children learning how to read
- For older children, look for engaging chapter books and book series
- Board, card and conversation-based question games - These are great to enjoy and play as a family as they get everyone talking and laughing and help to build some great memories.
- Costumes and other dress up accessories - These gifts allow children to use their imaginations and foster creativity. They also promote language development as kids will make up dialogues, tell stories, sing and take turns.
- Outdoor toys - Get your child outside with such toys as: balls, sleds, jump ropes, and yard games. These toys encourage running, jumping, sports and other active play which help promote physical activity and prime children for learning.
- Puzzles - Puzzles help to promote teamwork as the whole family can participate as well as spur conversation while building analytical, problem-solving and other skills.
- Cooking supplies - Involving young kids in making and trying new foods offers a wealth of opportunity for conversation and language building as well as helping to exposure your child to new tastes, textures and more. Cooking together also sets the scene for family bonding while following recipes helps to improve reading and comprehension skills, planning, organization, sequencing and following directions. Try doubling or dividing a recipe to also introduce some math into cooking!
- Crayons, colored pencils, coloring books and other writing supplies - These help children to build fine-motor skills, build their vocabulary and learn the names of colors.
- Tickets to child-friendly shows, sporting events, or other performances - These are great gifts as they allow parents and children to enjoy special activities together! These outings help to promote family interaction, conversation and bonding. Memberships to local zoos, museums or aquariums make great gifts for the whole family to enjoy!
Of course we understand that technology gifts will likely remain on your child’s shopping list. If you do give your child a technology-related present, use it as an opportunity to lay out some ground rules and make a family media plan