BY: KORI MACKALL, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & DEVELOPMENT, THE PIEDMONT SCHOOL & JOHN YOWELL ACADEMY
A new year and a new decade are officially here! While many of us adults have made resolutions and promises for taking better care of ourselves, slowing down, visiting family more, or paying off debts, the concept of resolutions is often lost on children. As adults, we know resolutions are well-intended mantras to “do better and be better” in the new year, but we often make the goals unattainable, so that we ultimately end up failing somewhere before spring hits—not quite the example we want to set for our kids, is it?
In 2020, try taking a more household approach to resolutions this year. Keep resolutions or goals attainable and to things that can be easily implemented; you’re your own daily/weekly schedule.
Consider participating in the following kid-friendly, easily attainable, resolutions as a household.
- “We will wake up five minutes earlier during the week.” Most parents can agree that the morning is often a mad dash to get out the door. It is usually a time of stress, rushing to get everyone’s shoes on, hair/teeth brushed, homework into the backpacks, lunches together, etc. This often leads to stress, shortened tempers, and not exactly the greatest start to the day. Try setting alarms 5 minutes earlier. While it does not seem like an amount of time that would make a difference, it is an easily attainable goal that, over time, can really relive morning stress.
- “We will pick two screen-less meal times a week.” The hustle and bustle of modern family life is real. Many of us would hate to admit how often we eat a meal with one hand and scroll our phone/tablet with the other. More of us would probably like to omit the number of times we’ve handed over our phones or devices to our kids, just so we can get through a meal with some level of quiet. So start small and start attainable, choose two times a week that phones or devices are absolutely not allowed at the meal table (that means not for adults, either). Build the tradition that meals are for talking to one another about the events of the day, learning about each other, and having meaningful conversations. With time, this may become more of the norm than the screen time.
- “We will take a family walk for 30 minutes, two times a week.” Staying healthy and integrating exercise is an important element to a balanced lifestyle. In the hectic nature of many of our schedules, it can often become difficult to stay on track. As a family, choose two days a week when you can carve out time to simply take a walk around your neighborhood, a park, a local track, or anywhere creative you can think of. These two days a week do not have to be set in stone and can be flexible week to week, but make it a priority and change up the location to keep it fun!
- “We will end the day on a positive note.” In an effort to end every day on a positive note, make a new nightly tradition before everyone goes to bed to share one positive part of your day. It could be your child’s favorite event at school; it could be a compliment they were given, it could be something funny you saw/heard during the day or something that made you feel good. Share it with one another before you head to bed. It is so easy to find the stressful and the negative in the world, make a conscious effort to have your family focus on the good in the world—no matter how small.
The above are easy resolutions to start as a whole family or household, but you can always consider other small and attainable goals you can implement for your family. Remember, the key is to keep them easy-to-meet. Finding success in these types of resolutions will help teach children goal- setting, both long-term and short-term, and will give them an opportunity for success in their resolutions.
Good luck and Happy New Year to all!