Help your child make New Year's resolutions!

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It's never too early to start making positive changes in your child's life, and new year resolutions are a great way to do so! Find out how you can help your child make and keep to 2016's new year resolutions.

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2016 is just around the corner!

So you blinked three times and all of a sudden, it’s the final days of 2015. Well, farewell 2015 and hello New Year 2016!

Amidst all these celebrations, don’t miss out on this opportunity to get your kids to make new year’s resolutions.

Your children are definitely not too young to make New Year’s resolutions because a lot of their habits are not as yet fixed in stone. Bad habits are much easier to relinquish at an early age. So what can you do to help your kid along in making, and keeping, his new year’s resolutions?

Suggest and discuss

Before you decide on how you are going to help your child keep his resolutions, consider what changes you would like him to institute.

A good way to do this, is to suggest resolutions and keep these options open to discussion. Your child might not know what kind of resolutions to formulate, so your suggestions can be an effective guide and starting point. But, if you dictate the resolutions that you feel he should take on, it becomes a rather preachy exercise and your child will simply be turned off. Instead of a positive exercise, it becomes criticism against him. Rather than saying “Here’s what’s wrong with you.”, you need to say “None of us are perfect, but we can always work toward making ourselves better people. What do you think you can do to be the best version of yourself?”

Moreover, if your child comes up his his own resolutions, chances are, he will be more motivated to keep to them as 2016 plods along.

Small and achievable goals

Encourage him to want to change for the better, but keep these expectations realistic. Some kids are prone to make grandoise statements, for example – “I will not eat sweets for an entire year!” (Yeah, right.). Or perhaps you yourself get carried away with the idea.

Whatever the case may be, it is best to restrain either your or his enthusiasm. Keep to attainable and realistic resolutions to ensure that your child’s enthusiasm doesn’t just peter off with impossible to achieve goals.

Simplify into steps

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Map out a plan of action

It is one thing to decide on an objective, quite another to actually go about getting it done. Despite his best intentions, your child might not know how exactly to go about keeping to his resolution. This is where your role as a parent comes in, and you could map out a course of actions for him to follow.

For instance, if his resolution is not to lose his belongings, perhaps, you could start by labelling all his possessions, then tell him what kind of mental checks that he should run through before leaving a place.

Do it as a fun family activity

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Make keeping track of each other’s resolutions a part of your family culture

Resolutions are basically positive changes you want to implement. Despite the ideal end result, the process can be arduous, which is why many resolutions are discarded as the year progresses.

Any burden that is shared is often lighten, and you can approach resolutions in this way. After you have decided together on the resolution that your kid can have for 2016 and outlined a course of action, the next thing you want to do is institute it as a fun family activity by getting everyone involved. Have everyone make resolutions, including yourself and check up on each other’s progress so it becomes integrated as part of the family culture!

This shows your child he is not alone and provides him with the necessary support. The family unit then becomes an amazingly positive and powerful influence for your child.

Practice what you preach

Part of the burden and also joy of being a parent means that your child will imitate your every move. They also look to you as a source of inspiration and guidance – or otherwise.

Either not getting involved in making new year resolutions or worse, not making the effort to fulfil the new year resolutions that you had already mapped out for yourself will throw a wrench in his efforts as well. Understandably, your child could feel demotivated and lose interest in keeping to his own resolutions too.

Similarly, if you want to him to change something, then you have to model that positive trait as well. For instance, if you want him to resolve to pick up after himself, but you often leave your own personal space in a mess, then it would be difficult for him to carry through his resolution.

Commit to paper and revisit regularly

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Commit your resolutions to paper

A year might not seem like a terribly long time, but neither is it a short walk in the park. To make resolutions really effective, have your child write down a short list of achievable goals on a piece of paper and stick this list somewhere prominent.

This way, you revisit these resolutions regularly throughout the year and not just conveniently forget about them amidst the hustle and bustle. If you want, you can also write down the plan of action you have discussed with your child so you can keep track of progress and maybe revise actions plans that might not be too effective.

Resolutions need not be a dirty word if you start the kids young on them and approach them with the right attitude. Here’s to your family’s productive and fulfilling 2016 ahead!

Have you done your list of resolutions with your child? Share with us what they are!