Join a gym. Lose weight. Be on time. These are but a few of the many New Year’s Resolutions that people will make for the coming year. How about children, should they get into the spirit of creating a 2013 resolution?
This may offer a great time to sit down with your children to reflect about 2012. Go over their great accomplishments that they were successful with over the past year. They may be surprised as you remember and they forgot about the first time that they jumped off the diving board, or tried brussel sprouts. Maybe there was a prior goal during the past year that was made during 2011. This would be a great time share stories of success with your growing children.
Resolution 2013 for a child certainly depends on their age. My advice is to keep things very simple for a child in the preschool age group. Focus on something that they can grasp and achieve. For example, maybe you want to work on brushing teeth before going to bed each night. This is both specific and achievable for a pre-school child. A school age child may take on the resolution that they will make their bed each morning before going to school. A teenager can be more relevant to their age group by eliminating negative talk from their vocabulary including “I am never going to be able to do this” as an example.
Consider suggesting a resolution first for yourself and then including your children. This role modeling activity will enable your child to appreciate your lead in a goal making process. “I’m going to turn off the water while I brush my teeth each day to conserve water. Do you want to do this resolution together?”
Succeeding in your goals gives you a great sense of pride and can also do the same for your children. Be flexible with them as they produce effort into their resolutions. Remember that while a resolution is a commitment it is not a contract. There are great benefits to a child’s self-esteem when they receive praise from a parent for their successes.
So with that my New Year’s resolution is to drink more water. Will see what the kids want to focus on this weekend :).
Dr. Jennifer Coren
Hatboro Pediatrics, PC