It’s that time of the year again, when everyone around is in a celebratory mood. Our household is no different. We too have swung into celebration mode with dinner parties this weekend before the New Year kicks in. In one such dinner party, where we had invited a few of our friends with their children, the topic of the dinner table discussion inevitably swung towards New Year’s resolutions and what each one of us had decided to do this new year, and while we parents were talking about this amongst ourselves, my son, all of 4 years, interjected, asking innocently, “Mama what’s a resolution?” I explained to him that it is something that we decide to do before a New Year begins and something that we look forward to. To that he quickly replied, “Mama I also want a resolution, where can I get one?” That’s when I realized, that it is not something that can be explained to a toddler, but something that he/she needs to experience, and understand! After all how can one explain to him, it’s important to keep goals in life, so that we have something to look forward to achieving? However, as adults, we tend to accept the New Year’s resolutions as a joke – nobody expects to actually keep them. But wouldn’t it be wonderful, if we were to actually keep all those resolutions that we made? Imagine, if we had the resolve to actually hit the gym this year every day, or to pursue a hobby that we have? I know I would want my son to grow up and actually set goals for himself that he sees to the end!
That was enough motivation for me to set a New Year’s resolution that I would actually keep this time around. My resolution is to help my son decide on his, and help him keep it, so that he can experience the euphoria of actually setting a goal and seeing it to the finish line.
In order to get us started, I thought; why not resort to the mecca of information (the Internet) to better understand how I can go about actually helping my son, and also enjoying the process! Here’s what I found:
Resolution Mission: To begin with, you must understand that children at their age have a very limited attention span, therefore the resolution that you help them identify must also be one that does not require a long period of time to fulfill. That means not having too many goals, and not having too many long-term goals. Talk with your children about what is most important and focus on those. Then maybe take your own advice and set few for yourself, too.
Be Precise: I came across a website that had had ten suggestions for kids’ resolutions. A couple of suggestions were “I will be kind to everyone” and “I will do my best in school.” These seem like very broad based for your child to actually feel like he/she has achieved something. It is likely that he/she will give up, if the resolution is so generic, so you would do well, to instead set a goal like, “I will make 3 people smile every week, by doing something nice.” Now that’s a resolution, which can have a tangible result.
Make it fun: Setting a resolution does not have to be a serious affair. The idea is to have fun in the process. You can turn it into a mini craft project, by taking a giant chart paper, and make it your child’s resolution chart, which he/she can write into and decorate, and then stick it up in his/her room.
Buddy program: If you want your child to fulfill his/her resolution, the chances of him/her succeeding rely largely on you. If he/she sees you too are setting your resolution with as much seriousness, he/she is likely to be more excited as well. So make sure you set down some achievable goals for yourself too and share one of them with your children. Compare resolution notes with your children from time to time. This will not only encourage them, but also help you to keep yours.
Keep track: Once the excitement of the New Year has settled down, and daily life sets in, ask your children how their resolutions are coming along. Suggest ways that they can stick to their resolutions. If they fall out of line along the way, encourage them to try again. Let them know that January 1st is not the only day for resolutions. They can start them, or re-start them, whenever they want.
With all these pointers under my belt, I am all set to start the New Year on a fresh note, with a resolve to help my son succeed, among other things of course! Who knows? By helping our children learn to make and keep New Year’s resolutions, we may just break the cycle of unfulfilled resolutions and actually start to keep them! My resolutions have been put up rather glamorously in my son’s bedroom, alongside his own, and we are both excited to meet the finish line, and find yet another reason to celebrate together. So what is your New Year’s resolution this year? And more importantly, what is your child’s?Tagged with: celebrate together, celebrating new years with kids, celebration, child upbringing, children, encourage, goal in life, happy new years, how to get kids make new years resolutions, igenius, igenius parenting, igenius parenting community, important, kids, making new years resolutions with your children, max life insurance, motivation, new year, resolution, resolution chart, setting goals for kids, tips for parents, useful tips for parents