While some people may eschew New Year’s resolutions, they can be very helpful, especially when families yearn to turn over a new leaf and begin new habits while vanquishing the old ones. We listed our twelve favorite resolutions for families, one for each month of the year, though you can begin them any time you like!
- Unplug. Everyday, make sure your preschooler steps away from his iPad. When he does so, turn off your phone. Turn off the television. Make a habit of allowing the entire family to spend time together screen-free.
- Change the way your family eats. Make healthier choices at the grocery store. Look for organic fruits and veggies, and grass fed beef, free range chicken, and wild fish. Choose whole foods rather than processed ones.
- Exercise as a family. Take a nightly walk together. Go for a family swim at the local pool. Play Frisbee in the park.
- Read more. You can set an example for your kids by putting down your phone, and picking up a book. If you use a Kindle, be sure to tell your kids about the book you’re reading, and encourage them to take a look at their books, too.
- Show kindness. Teach your kids to apologize after stealing a toy from a sibling or yelling at a friend. Model kindness by talking things out instead of shouting. And extend your family’s holiday volunteer activities into the new year.
- Get eco-friendly. Have you changed your light bulbs to more efficient ones yet? If you can, try to drive less and walk more. And, recycle! Lots of families don’t realize how many common items are recyclable: yogurt containers, empty condiment bottles, and junk mail can all be sorted and recycled.
- Listen more. Set an example for your kids by taking the time to listen when they are excited about something, or upset. Encourage them to listen to each other, too.
- Underschedule. Making sure that your family is less busy frees up your time for more quality family time on weekends and after work.
- Family dinner. Some nights, family dinner just isn’t possible, due to hours spent working late, or other obligations. But make an effort as often as possible to gather everyone around the table for an evening meal.
- Less structure. Less structure means more time for free play, creativity, and quality time between siblings and between parents and kids.
- Remember to make every child feel special.Recognize the unique qualities in each of your children, and comment on how these qualities make them stand out and make the family, and the world, a better place.
- Feel gratitude. It’s sometimes difficult to see past daily chores, exhaustion, tantrums, and messy kitchen floors to the good stuff that makes your family life worthwhile, but make an effort, express your feelings of gratitude out loud, and teach your kids to do the same.
Do you plan on making resolutions this year? Have you made successful ones in the past? Tell us all about it in the comments section!