When I set out to write this article, it was going to be about New Year’s resolutions for kids. However, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to include the entire family. We could all use New Year’s Resolutions!
A few months ago, I decided I needed to drop a few pounds. I began using an app to count my calories. At first, my boys were confused and asked a lot of questions. I patiently answered and began a dialogue about healthy eating (as they shoved another piece of pizza in their mouths!). As the weeks went on, our seven-year-old asked more questions about the food that he was eating and our four-year-old held me accountable for each bite, “Mom, are you counting your calories?!”.
The moral of the story is (as Daniel Tiger says) “it’s better to work together!”.
Eat Together: Life can be so very hectic. Try to reconvene at the dinner table each night (no screens allowed!).
Be Thankful: Before eating dinner, have each person take a turn saying what they are thankful for that day. Starting a gratitude list, journal or jar are other great ways to show thanks.
Make Healthy Choices: Write your grocery list as a family. Plan meals for the week and choose healthy snacks. You and your kids will be more likely to eat better if you plan ahead!
Learn New Things: Sign up for a class as a family. Learn a new language, take a cooking class, try a new sport together.
Start Exercising: If it’s tough finding time to go to the gym between work, school and homework take a walk as a family or play a game of wiffle ball in the backyard. Get outside!
No Chores: Wait, what?! Hear me out! Instead, emphasize the importance of everyone contributing to household duties. Have your kids bring in dirty dishes while you start washing, out laundry away together as a family, etc.
Unplug: I mentioned no screens at dinner, but how about no screens during family time (say 5pm to 8pm each evening)? A block of time each weekend? And definitely no screens an hour before bed (for kids AND parents). I know it’s a lot to ask in this day and time but hey it’s worth a try!
Read: Most school aged kids are already held accountable for a certain amount of reading each day, but are you reading enough? Go to the library as a family, read as a family and most importantly make sure that your kids are seeing you read!
Get More Sleep: Set bedtimes for everyone…grownups included! Sleep is so, so important for a healthy, happy family.
Save Money: Start a savings account with your children. Explain the importance of saving for the future, but also saving for fun (think family vacation!).
Live Green: Recycle, compost, plant a garden. All of these sustainable activities can be fun for the entire family and, of course, great for the environment!
Regular Checkups: Make regular checkups for doctors, dentists, etc. for the entire family!
Community: Become active members of your community. Volunteer your time and services. You can join scouts. Know what’s going on in your schools. Invite your neighbors over for dinner or a game night.
Snail Mail: In this digital age it’s so easy to “communicate” with a click of a button, but who doesn’t love receiving mail that isn’t a bill? Send letters and packages to friends and family that live far away or right down the street!
Even if you don’t get to everything on this list, I hope these New Year’s Resolution suggestions help your family while welcoming 2018!