The New Year is the Perfect Time to Set Goals for the Whole Family
We are only a few short days away from saying goodbye to 2019 and welcoming 2020 with open arms! Even though we still need to get through the holidays first, now is still the perfect time to get you and your family ready for the new year. Thousands of adults all across the country engage in several New Year’s Resolutions as soon as January 1st hits. However, have you ever thought about preparing your child for the new year?
New Year’s Resolutions are not just for adults. Many teenagers and children can also create and engage with their own resolutions. Children are far more receptive to setting goals than many realize. While younger children may not be interested in resolutions, children ages 7-12 are at the perfect age to start making their own.
Christine Carter, Ph.D. and author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, states that these kids are young enough that they have not yet established firm habits. This means that setting New Year’s Resolutions with your children allows you to help them instill healthy and beneficial habits.
You can encourage them to create their own goals, or you can create goals for the entire family to keep everyone involved. Tots N Teens Pediatrics is here to help you and your family create healthy habits in the new year and beyond.
New Year’s Resolutions for the Family
The new year is the perfect time to overhaul your lifestyle, but you can also inspire and encourage your children to join you. While you do not have to share every resolution with your children, it can be beneficial to everyone if a familial support system was in place.
There are plenty of goals you can set with your family this new year, including:
This is a popular goal for many adults throughout the country. Eating healthy should be a priority for everyone, but especially for children. Children are still developing and need the appropriate nutrients to grow into the healthiest versions of themselves.
Set a goal within the family to eat healthier. Have open conversations about nutrition at home. Take family trips to the store to learn how to successfully eat better and how certain foods are healthier for you than others. Learn new healthy recipes together as a family and encourage your children to help in the kitchen. Consider packing your child’s lunch as they start the new year. However, always be mindful of any food allergies you or your children may have.
Your children are still developing habits, so by instilling healthy eating habits in them early, you set them up to be healthier later in life.
Again, getting active is incredibly popular for many adults throughout the world. The beginning of the year sees waves of people signup for new gym memberships to lose a couple of pounds and get back in shape. Kids want to be just as active as you, if not more!
Being physically active is incredibly important to a child’s development. Whenever they learn a new sport or physical activity, they not only experience a plethora of health benefits, but they also get to work on their cognitive and social skills.
Set a goal with your children that each of you will try a new fitness activity in the new year. Furthermore, consider trying the same activity together. Even if they aren’t sporty, activities such as yoga can be just as helpful. Encourage the family to celebrate each other’s achievements, regardless of how big they are. Being active together gives you a helpful support system.
Stimulate Your Mind
Your children are already in school, so their minds are being challenged every single day. However, for most parents, their days of learning are behind them. Plenty of adults want to read more or focus on learning a specific subject during the new year. Even though your children are probably still in school, when they come home, the average teenager spends as much as seven hours a day on screens, while tweens spend as much as five hours on screens.
Take the new year to encourage your child to put down their screens and pick up a new topic to learn about once they get home. You can even choose the same topic as them to discuss how much you’ve learned. If you chose different topics, take a day out of the week to share what you have learned. You will be able to learn more as an adult, and your child will stimulate their mind and adopt new habits.
How to Be Successful This New Year
New Year’s Resolutions can be incredibly difficult to follow through with. It can be even more difficult for many children. As a parent, you must be able to support their goals and encourage them to complete their objectives in a loving and supportive manner. To make sure your child gets the most of their new year, here are some helpful tips to take into consideration:
- Set attainable goals
- Narrow down their goals to just a few
- A lot of goals are too broad, so be specific about their goals
- Motivate your child
- Celebrate their achievements
- Work together and support each other
- Set relevant goals that will help support your child’s development
- Set a goal that can be easily measured
Also, as a parent, you should set yourself as an example for your children. If you are setting out on a New Year’s Resolution as well, follow through with it and be excited about your progress. Let your child see your progress with the hopes that it encourages them on their own goals.
However, there are things you shouldn’t do as a parent, such as:
- Dictating your child’s resolutions. You can suggest them, but do not control their goals
- Never nag them about their progress. This could push them away from completing their goals
- Do not set virtually impossible goals
- Never chastise them for their missteps. Always encourage them
By following these tips, you not only set yourself up for success this new year but also your children.
The new year is an excellent time to set goals for yourself and your family. Take this time to set goals with your children, whether you share the same resolutions or not. If you need help learning more about living a healthy lifestyle or need inspirations for goals, contact Tots N Teens Pediatrics today.