4 STEPS TO CREATING MEANINGFUL NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS WITH YOUR KIDS
New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for adults, it’s a great opportunity to get the family together and set your intentions for the year. Perhaps there are some key themes you want to instill in your children – compassion, sharing, kindness, environmental awareness, community mindedness, conscious consumerism.
Whatever the theme aim to keep the planning process fun, entertaining, & engaging to keeps everyone’s interest & create a positive start to the year. It’s important to remember that resolutions/goal setting doesn’t come naturally to most kids it’s a learned skill but it’s definitely worth the effort. It’s a great way to instill confidence, introduce change, and encourage your kids to step out of their comfort zones. So the old saying ‘patience is a virtue’ probably applies here. There are 4 keys steps to ensure your children’s resolutions have the greatest chance of success.
Sit down together & each come up with some positive things that happened over the last year. If this is the 1st time you’ve done this with the kids it may be hard for them to think of things. So make sure you lead the way & talk about the highlights for you & also share the good things you noticed your kids accomplish during the year. You may wish to delve a little further by asking these questions:
‘How did you manage to do …….?’
‘How did you feel when ……….? ’
‘Why did you decide to do ……..?’
This will help your kids connect back to the feeling, motivation, & steps they took to make the positive things happen, further helping to build confidence and celebrate their success.
2. LOOK AHEAD
Next it’s time to look ahead start by compiling a list of the great things each of you either want to do, improve, or ways you want to make life better or happier this coming year. While compiling this list also explore the ‘why’ / motivation behind the suggestion.
Our motivations/’why’ is the driving force behind our actions & is an important factor in determining our level of success. By connecting our motivations to our resolutions it is proven we are more likely to stick to them and ultimately achieve them. Inevitably it is highly likely your kids may come up with some very ‘interesting’ resolutions – perhaps collecting 5 more Barbie before the end of the year, playing a minimum of 15 hours of their favourite computer game a week. Try not to immediately discount these ideas instead explore their reasoning, take it as an opportunity for an open meaningful conversation which will give you insights into their thinking. That which may seem ridiculous to us may make perfect sense in your child mind when you understand their frame of reference.
If your kids are coming up with some ‘interesting’ resolutions you may want to give them a little guidance, by suggesting 3-4 broad categories for their resolutions such as Act of Kindness, Pocket Money Use, the Environment, Learning new things, Family. Alternatively you could let their resolutions remain but also introduce 1-2 family resolutions – items that the family agree on that everyone will have on their resolution list.
3. NARROW THE LIST
By now it is highly likely you all have quite a number of items on your lists. Which no doubt can seem quite overwhelming. By reducing your list to 2-5 items it has been proven there is a greater likelihood of following them through. Ensuring you have realistic, achievable and age appropriate resolutions will also assist success. ‘I won’t fight with my sister all year’ is an extremely ambitious resolution to keep particularly as a kid, and you don’t want to set your kids up to fail on their resolutions.
4. GET CREATIVE
Next it’s time to get creative and decide on a way to record your final resolutions. You may want to write them down, create a resolution board, draw a picture, use magazines cut-outs, make a movie, whatever works as a good reminder is the key & of course is fun for your kids to do. For each resolution take the time to think of the smaller steps to achieving those resolutions, some examples:
- Being better to the environment: Always put litter into the bin, compost food scraps…
- Be more generous: Save 50c from pocket money each week to donate to x / Give away the toys I don’t play with each season
- Spend mindfully: Buy all birthday presents from local people/shops/markets
- Become a conscious consumer: Understand my financial ecological footprint by learning about where things are made – research one item week.
What resolutions will you and your family be setting this year?
How will you help create a better world?
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