Isn’t it lucky that New Year comes right after Christmas and Hannukah? After spending the whole month of December over-indulging and unwrapping, we almost find ourselves craving a little bit of self-restraint. And what better time to build new habits than the new year? We have to admit, we love making resolutions. But if we have a hard time keeping them, imagine how difficult it can be for our kids? Here are some of our tips for helping kids make resolutions they can really stick to.
Spend some time planning the list of resolutions. Ask your child what changes they’d like to make in the upcoming year and brainstorm a long list of resolutions. Break resolutions down into three types:
- Personal Resolutions: Improving themselves, such as being tidier
- Friends and Family: Improving relationships with people they care about. For example, not teasing their little brother as much.
- The World: Something that they can do to help the world. For example, recycling more, or donating used toys to charity.
- Make sure that resolutions are positive rather than negative. For example, resolve to tidy more often instead of not being so messy.
- Rate the resolution ideas according to importance and how realistic they are. Then choose just the 2- 4 most important resolutions (at least one from each category) with the highest likelihood of success to focus on.
- Break each larger goal down into smaller, more approachable steps, if necessary.
- Decide how you’re going to measure success (and earn stars)
- Include the early steps as HighScore House tasks and add more steps as your child masters the ones before.
- Make sure you provide your child with lots of opportunities to practice their resolutions (remember, it takes about 6 weeks of practice to create a new habit!)
- Don’t think about “breaking” resolutions. Think about mistakes as learning experiences, rather than failure.
- Re-evaluate resolutions every couple of weeks. Ask how they are going, what challenges your child is having, and brainstorm ways to overcome those challenges. If you need to, change the resolution to something that is more realistic or manageable.
- Reward successes all the way, with stars, rewards, and lots and lots of hugs, smiles and praise.
What resolutions are you making with your child? What are your tips for making resolutions that are kid-friendly?