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The new year is here and this is great time to reset and think about your New Year’s’ Resolutions! But, did you ever think about setting resolutions with your kids?
Like adults, children set goals that they wish to achieve within the New Year. It’s important for us as parents to recognize what our children wish to accomplish, as well as to help them take necessary steps to achieve these goals.
Christine Carter, Ph.D. and author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents says: “Children are old enough to think about what a New Year’s resolution is and to make their own, but parents can still help guide them.”
Children feel excitement when they find something new they want to master! However, some children might need a push from their parents to keep going. Below are three great goals you can set with your child this new year!
#1: Cut Out the Junk!
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Cut out junk food and unhealthy snacks. This can be a resolution the whole family can do together.
Obesity in children ages 6–11 years increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. The percentage of child obesity is constantly growing.
Studies have shown healthy meals allow kids to learn better, improve cognitive abilities and support proper growth. Come up with a meal plan for you and your child to follow in 2017.
This doesn’t mean you can’t give them some ice cream every now and again, just make sure it’s not an every night thing. Sweets are a great treat for special occasions!
This can also extend to many areas of life, not just food. Cut out junk media like excess TV and games. You may want to tailor and focus on the type of media and activities kids do. Havbe a conversation about what your kids like to do and value!
#2: Allow Your Child to Do Chores
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Children should be taught to help out around the house at a young age.
This doesn’t mean that our children have to wash dishes or do their own laundry when they turn 6. However, coming up with a check list for our children to follow each day will ensure they’re on the right track to becoming a mature adult.
For example, write down “I will put my clothes in the hamper” or “I will make sure my dishes get put into the sink”. You can even go as far as “I will feed our dog and take him outside to use the bathroom” if your child is old enough to handle pets.
Many children hate chores because their parents use chores as a form of punishment. Don’t do this!
Instead, make a game out of it! Create a scoreboard where your child can rank up points by doing things around the house. They’ll enjoy it and get more done! Also give them a say in what chores they want to do and how they want to do them. Be sure to give rewards from time to time, like a trip to the movies or time playing their favourite video game. By doing this, a sense of responsibility, positive impact and teamwork is created.
#3: Cut Back on Video Games
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Here at MakerKids we love playing games for all of their wonderful benefits! However, as fun as video games are, it’s not healthy to sit in front of a TV (or computer) screen all day. Like our first resolution, be specific and thoughtful about the media you choose.
There are so many fun things to do outside! Hiking, biking, walking, you name it. Anything is better than sitting indoors all day (especially on a nice day). There are many ways to tie in online games with offline games as well.
Set time limits with games, break up games with activities, set goals within games or encourage them to create their own video games using programs like Scratch.
There are many video games that allow your children to further their skills. Games allow children to meet new friends, build their own worlds, and increase their imagination and creativity skills. You may encourage kids to build an invention or learn a new skill in Minecraft.
These are just three great goals that you can set with your child this year. Ask your children what they’d like to improve about themselves this year, too!
It’s not too late to set a New Year’s Resolution with your child today!
Keep an open mind and allow your child to set as many goals as they think they can accomplish. Make sure you let them know that you’ll be with them every step of the way and help them to keep track of their progress!
What goals did you set with your child this year? Let us know in the comments below!
(And don’t forget to share this article if you found it helpful!)