Encourage Your Child to Keep His or Her ResolutionsJanuary 21, 2014
By Amelia Orozco
Commitment is a big word, even for adults. So when it comes time to teach this to your children, it’s important to first do a self-evaluation of how we, as parents, are handling our commitments. This can be a learning opportunity for the entire family. Have a family meeting to talk about goals for the new year and come up with an action plan to keep those resolutions.
Instead of focusing on goals and resolutions that impact only ourselves, make some resolutions that involve the whole family. This will help ensure you are modeling the behavior that you want your children to inherit. It will also make achieving the goals you set easier as everyone works toward them together. Here are some family resolution ideas:
- Personal communication. If one of your goals is to send birthday cards to all of your friends and family next year, your son or daughter could help by keeping a calendar in the kitchen or on the family computer. Let him or her contribute to the message or pick out the cards. Point out that this resolution is important for maintaining strong relationships by staying in contact with the people you care about. This way you are instilling in your son or daughter that constant communication is important.
- Healthy family habits. Keeping a healthy New Year’s resolution is much more involved than sticking to a diet plan. It means changing your behavior for a healthier life overall. This type of resolution opens the door to a number of ways to model positive behavior. Devising a plan to walk to school or work, even if it is just once or twice a week, and then sticking to it, will show your son or daughter that you are committed. Even grocery shopping and eating out take on a new meaning as you see your choices begin to mold your child’s behavior in these situations.
- Admit mistakes and try again. When I have failed to stick to a plan, I make sure to point it out to my daughters so that they see I am willing to admit I am not perfect, but that I am working hard to meet the challenge. We then come up with a plan for being successful the next time around. Starting the new year with a resolution to keep trying and to lean on each other for support can strengthen your family and your resolve throughout the year.
These New Year’s resolutions will teach the importance of making and keeping commitments, all while making memories that draw your family closer through each challenge. Remember throughout the year that you’re all in this together, and you can help each other be the best that you can be.
Amelia Orozco is the senior editor and writer at the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo and a community and entertainment reporter for TeleGuía Chicago. A mother of three, Amelia also maintains an active role in her community and church by working with youth and promoting education and diversity through her writing and volunteer efforts.