January 11th, 2018
PARENTING RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR
New Year’s resolutions in parenting may have an impact on the whole family life. Putting your effort into meaningful goals that will benefit your household can have a profound effect on family relationships, organization, and teamwork.
Here are a few resolutions you can implement:
1. Be there for your child. Choose to spend quality time with each child on one-on one every day. Listen to your child, respond, do not get distracted by your phone or your own agenda. Give her what she needs the most: your undivided attention. Spending just 10 to 15 minutes per day of uninterrupted time promotes emotional connection, reduces unwanted behaviors, and makes children more cooperative and responsive.
2. Improve routines. The New Year might be an opportunity to revisit morning, after school, and bedtime routines. One way to improve the routines is to use the method called “When – Then”. First, your child needs to do an often undesirable, but necessary activity before doing something she enjoys. For instance, tell her “When your bed is made, then it is time for your breakfast” or “When your homework is done and your backpack is ready for tomorrow, then you can go out and play with your friends.” The new routines can be posted in strategic places, so your child will remember them, and you will not have to remind them.
3. Get everyone engaged in chores. Each child should be required to do age-appropriate responsibilities around the house that contribute to the family’s daily life. Make a list of chores and decide together how to divide the weekly workload among all family members.
4. Start a weekly ritual that the whole family will enjoy. For instance, watch a family movie together once a week. You may want to share with your children the movies you loved when you were younger. Another option is to have a game night. Take turns to pick up the game you play. Outdoor activities can also be enjoyable: train for a 5K together or aim to complete a particular hike in your area.
A few changes can make the New Year brighter for everyone and positive effects may last a lifetime.
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As a parent and a therapist, I want to offer some tips on how to raise happy and healthy kids. Please feel free to comment on my posts.