What do your New Year’s resolutions normally look like? Maybe you’ve toyed with the idea of cutting out sugar, or visiting the gym more frequently. Perhaps you’ve vowed to get yourself on a strict spending schedule or spend less time on your phone. These are all great ideas, but most people have trouble sticking to New Year’s resolutions focused on self-improvement. This year, try making a resolution with your family so that you can each hold each other accountable, and you’ll all see the benefits of strengthened familial bonds and more quality time.
- Keep adventure on the calendar. Is there a local spot you’ve been meaning to visit as a family? Maybe a hiking trail, an amusement park, or a museum? Why have you been putting it off? We often forget to schedule “fun” or seemingly “unnecessary” activities on our calendar, but these activities can be some of the most important ones we do with our families. So whether it’s a camping trip, a few Saturdays of vocal lessons, or a day trip somewhere unexpected, put it on your calendar to make sure your family doesn’t let the mundane “to-do’s” of everyday life get in the way of something special.
- Read together as a family. Research shows that in the later grade school years, kids begin to lose their enthusiasm for reading. This coincides with their parents becoming less involved in their reading activities. As your toddler and preschooler become more and more interested in their favorite stories, as a parent, you begin to develop dramatic voices and personalized readings of the books in your home. But this shared reading time drops off when older kids begin to read on their own. So, eve as you kids begin to pick up chapter books, read with them once in awhile, asking them to read favorite passages or choosing some of your own.
- Build one-on-one relationships. When we think about spending time together as a family, we often consider the entire family unit, or even time with extended family. We rarely think about the individual relationships within a family which need to be nurtured. Make plans to spend time with each of your kids individually, whether it’s an afternoon at the movies or a morning spent at the playground and grabbing bagels. Your unique relationships will begin to thrive when they have the room to grow.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions at the start of each calendar year? Are there any resolutions you think might strengthen your family or nurture your familial relationships? Tell us about your resolution ideas in the comments section!