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Making New Year’s Resolutions with Your Child

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?

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good idea im gonna try it

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): DOES CONSTANT PARENTAL INTERFERENCE IMPEDE OUR GROWTH AS TEENS? WHAT DO I DO IF MY PARENTS ARE HASSLING ME?

Yes, to some extent. But let me narrate one incident when I was a guest in my friend’s house. We were taking tea when my friend’s six years old son came and sat by our side. I asked the small child “ What is your name, Son?” He said, Sir, My name is DON’T, but now I have started going to the school and there I have realized that it is not my real name. How correctly he is saying – whatever a child does, the parents are there to say ‘no’ to them. They are not allowed to grow according to their own nature.
Your relationship with your arents can be one of the most important and longest lasting of your life, which also makes it sometimes one of the more difficult relationships tomaintain. At this stage in your life, it can be difficult as you become more independentg and mature, and as your parents often continue to see you as they did when you were younger.
The strategies that will be helpful as you negotiate the occasional conflicts with your parents are as individual as you and your parents are.
To help you through tghis time it may be helpful to talk to a counsellor about your unique circumstances, and communication strategies and conflictg resolution skills that will help you the most.

(Q)I FEEL LIKE I’M GOING TO HURT MYSELF. AM I SUICIDAL?

If you are feeling that you might hurt yourself please seek professional help by seeing a counsellor, your family doctor or visit a hospital. Just because you feel like hurting yourself does not mean that you are suicidal. It is likely that you are feeling depressed, lonedly, or helpless, and would benefit from talking to someone qualified to help you with these feelings.
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Remember that although you may feel alone and hopeless, things in fact will change and you just need some extra help during this tough time. Try talking to smeone you trust about your feelings and draw on the support offered by friends, family, or a professiona helper. Needless to say that with timely treatment and active participation of parents, children suffering from depression can have speedly recovery and lead healthy adult life.

(Q)I WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED AS A CHILD. HOW CAN COUNSELLING HELP ME?
Childhood sexual abuse occurs when a child is used for sexual gratification by an older adolescent or adult. It involves the abuse of power that an adult has over a child. In many instances, the vicgtim of the abuse has never discussed the abuse with others while it was taking place. As an adult, this individual is now learning to address the effects of the abuse. Counselling can play an important part in addressing the effects of the abuse and enabling an individual to move beyond the effects of the abuse.
Each individual’s experience and responses are unique. However, there are some responses that are common.
These include: low self-esteem, difficulty trusting people, difficulty sleeping, and use of mechanisms ( e.g. drugs, alcohol, foor, or self-injury) to cope. Given the university/college years where career path, relationships, academic performance, and life direcgtion are of crititical importance, counselling can play a key role in addressing past abuse. Specifically, counselling can involve the following:
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• addressing choices in beliefs/thoughts, emotions, and behaviors rthat enhance healing and healthy living.
If you feel counselling would be helpful to you in dealing with past abuse please contact any Counselling Centre of your locality.

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