A new year brings with it the feeling of a fresh start and new opportunities. While many of us
make promises to eat healthy and exercise, we rarely make resolutions as a family. This year I am suggesting 6 easy family resolutions that will jump start your family into a great year!
Make time for fun
Many of us are over-scheduled and get lost in the abyss of screen time. Even when we’re together in the same room, how often do we interact? This year make a point of scheduling family activities at least twice a month. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just make sure everyone is involved in the activity. Some suggestions include: playing games, taking walks or playing outside (sledding or making snowmen can be great fun during the winter!), discovering free activities in your community, working out or taking a class together. For those in the Columbus, OH area, check out the FB page Local Busy Bees for tons of ideas!
2. Use kind words
Our kids are inundated by social media and about 78% of what they see is negative. Teaching our kids to be kind to others is as easy as setting the example yourself. Keep in mind, our kids are watching everything we do! Remind your children to use the THINK acronym before they speak... Is it Thoughtful, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind?
As much as we try to be on our best behavior, occasionally we hurt others. It is what we do after the incident that makes a difference in the family dynamics. Let your children learn to apologize for their mistakes or poor choices by seeing you do the same. If you lose your temper with your kids, take the time to share your remorse with them. A simple, “I’m sorry I snapped at you. I wasn’t being patient and listening to you like you needed me to” will go a long way to teaching our kids about apologies and forgiveness.
4. Affirm each other
I am a firm believer in the gift of affirmation. When we share with someone the things we appreciate about them, the effects can be amazing. I’m not saying we should praise our kids for every single thing they do! I’m suggesting statements that will reinforce their positive choices and build their confidence and self-esteem. Check out Dare to Parent’s FREE PDF “9 Things Every Child Needs to Hear” and make them a part of your family’s dialogue.
5. Volunteer as a family
When we work together in an effort to help others, our children learn lessons in compassion, respect, empathy and caring for others. It’s natural for kids to be a little self-centered, but when we expose them to experiences that help others they will see how even the smallest kindness on their part can make a huge difference in the life of someone else.
6. Have family meetings to work through issues
Family meetings are a great way to problem solve together. When we discuss things as a family everyone gets to share their perspective, brainstorm ideas and be a part of the solution.
Family meetings aren’t just for negative issues! Many families use them to talk about topics such as vacation ideas, dinner planning, schedules, movie selections or an issue that came up during the previous week. The best thing about family meetings is that it removes the parents from the role of referee and makes the family work together for problem solving, allowing kids to learn life skills such as listening well, contributing to a solution and compassion.
Wishing you the very best in the new year!!
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