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Pint-sized New Year’s resolutions

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

set goals for the new year

Little resolutions should be fun and inspiring. Without taking things too seriously, help your kids plot out some New Year’s resolutions. Use the holiday as a chance to encourage kids to evaluate their own behavior and set goals related to health, school and fun.
Resolutions for the whole family
Girl writing in a journal

Take the opportunity to teach your children to make healthy, attainable New Year’s resolutions. Use the holiday as a teaching tool, encouraging kids to get away from resolutions that focus too heavily on physical traits and unreasonable goals.

Make New Year’s resolutions a family tradition

Set aside a special afternoon or evening to talk about New Year’s resolutions with your kids. Make it a fun activity, with an emphasis on reflection and planning. Share your own personal resolutions with your children, explaining that adults may have different goals and plans for the year than children do. Talk about what you can accomplish as individuals and what you can accomplish together. Try giving kids a few days to reflect before you meet again to talk about their plans. Keep the atmosphere light. This activity should be fun and age-appropriate, without leading kids to feel pressure to improve or change.

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Use tools to guide your resolutions

Create a list, chart or art project to plot out the major accomplishments your family and your children have had during the year. They can be simple accomplishments, like a trip to the beach or milestones like losing a front tooth. As your kids reflect on the year your family has had, it can help them learn to look ahead and think about things they’d like to do. Children's resolutions don’t have to be centered around self-improvement. If your second grader’s main goal is to travel to a theme park or play little league baseball, have an accepting and positive attitude. Keep your family record of the previous year so you can compare from year to year.

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Encourage your children to keep a journal throughout the year

As your kids make New Year’s resolutions, teach them to track their plans and the journey they begin this New Year's. Even very young children can use a journal. Give your children blank books or plain spiral-bound notebooks. Use age-appropriate methods of journaling, from drawings to basic sentences. If your child is old enough to want privacy, allow him to keep his journal to himself unless he wants to share it. The process of keeping a journal can be part of your child’s New Year’s resolutions. Explain to your child that a year from now, he’ll have a special way to look back at his accomplishments and feelings.

New Year’s resolutions for kids

Do your kids need guidance in making resolutions? Here are some examples:

  • Make a new friend.
  • Help someone in need.
  • Try a new hobby.
  • Eat three new foods.
  • Play a board game as a family.
  • Write a letter to a family member.
  • Explore a new place.

More New Year's resolutions

Top New Year's resolutions for a healthy lifestyle
New Year's resolutions: Planning a family vacation
The frazzled mommy's top 10 New Year's resolutions

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