Happy New Year, everyone! 2020 was a year of turbulence and uncertainty; however, it was also a year that taught us the importance of staying strong, being thankful, and remaining optimistic. With the new year comes a wealth of opportunities to start anew. It is, therefore, the perfect time to set new goals that you and your children can work on achieving together.
I say ‘goals’ instead of ‘resolutions’ because goals are not temporary objectives, like many resolutions can be. They are intentions that you and your children will likely continue throughout the year and onwards.
Now, many children start off the new year wanting to set new goals, but they aren’t sure where to start. My advice is to start with small goals, so they’re easily attainable, and work your way to large ones that might require more time. The following goals are ones you can start this month or at any time during the year.
Normally, household responsibilities lie with parents, but once your children are old enough, it’s best to delegate some chores to them. To make it fun, print out a weekly chore chart for every member of the family, and cross out tasks once they are completed. When your children complete their tasks for the week, reward them with extra playtime or a sweet treat.
These days, we spend more time on our phones or laptops instead of with our family and friends. Children would rather watch TV or play video games than play outside. As role models, we can unplug with our children to show them that we don’t need social media, videos, or the like to have fun. Pick a day of the week (a day on the weekend is ideal), and simply “unplug” on that day. Spend the day playing cards and board games, doing a puzzle, reading a book together, or even going outside. Doing this as a family will build your children’s confidence, give them a sense of self-worth, and improve your relationship as a whole.
Taking care of your physical health is important to your well-being. A goal you can do with your children is to exercise regularly (at least 3 times a week). Although we’re in the winter months, you can still do some fun activities like build a snowman or go for a short walk after dinner. If it’s too cold to go outside, you can still exercise at home by doing push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, squats, or even dancing.
Eating a balanced diet is just as important as exercise. If your children want to eat better, but they don’t know how or aren’t motivated to, try this: eat healthy as a family, and only buy nutrient-rich food so your children are not tempted to eat junk food. Seeing you eat well with them will only motivate them to fuel their bodies the right way.
Another way to keep your children on track is to have them help cook the meals in the kitchen. This will help build their basic skills, such as math, and keep them engaged. It’s a win-win situation, since you’re teaching them the importance of taking care of their well-being while spending quality time together.
Get more sleep
More often than they should, your children might ask you whether they can stay up to watch another episode of their favorite show or read one more chapter in bed. Having them establish a healthy bedtime routine will ensure they fall asleep easier and faster, which will help them feel more rested and ready to tackle the next day.
Getting the recommended hours of sleep is crucial for everyone, especially students, so I found a great list of tips here to help your children develop good sleep habits.
Be good to others
I couldn’t write this post about achieving goals without this one. Being good too others and having empathy are important in childhood. They’re also important for personal growth, because helping others makes you feel good and want to do more for your community. Teach your children the significance of helping those in need, sharing, or being respectful to one another. Children learn from watching their parents’ actions, so keep that in mind when conversing with your partner, other family members, friends, and even strangers.
This is not an extensive list by any means but some ideas that will kickstart some goals that your children might want to achieve. They can set short-term or long-term goals, but for each one they create, make sure to set some timelines (on a goal chart) to keep them on track and help them see their progress (an example of this is shown here). Doing so will build motivation and confidence. Best of all, have fun with these goals as they not only help individuals grow, they nurture the dynamic of your family as a whole.
Campbell, Desiree- The 36th Avenue (2015). Chores Charts for Kids. Retrieved on January 6th, 2021 via https://www.the36thavenue.com/chores-charts-for-kids/
Raising Children- The Australian Parenting website (December 8th, 2020). How to sleep better: 10 tips for children. Retrieved on January 6th, 2021 via https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/sleep/better-sleep-settling/sleep-better-tips