January not only marks the beginning of a new year but also a chance for a fresh start. It’s also a great time to set goals and make resolutions for the months ahead. While making resolutions may be a great way to jump start the New Year for adults, it can sometimes be a tricky concept for your little ones to grasp.
How can you help?
Below, is some advice from Stephanie O’Leary, a Psychologist and author of the new book Parenting in the Real World, on how to help children set reasonable goals for themselves in 2017.
Make a list: “Sit down together as a family and figure out things each of you wants to do, see, and accomplish. Do your best not to judge or guide your child’s ideas.” Unsure of how long or short your family’s list should be? Dr. O’Leary states that she and her family begin with five.
Hang Them Up: “Help your child by writing down their goals and posting them somewhere. Choose a place they can be viewed through the year.” Try the fridge or pin them up in the bathroom, so they can be reminded often.
Discuss: “Talk to your child about practical ways to move toward identified goals and intentions. Kids will need help creating a game plan and connecting today’s decisions with longer term outcomes.”
Come Together: “Work as a family to choose two or three family intentions that everyone is excited about to focus on. This sets a great example for kids and also creates a sense of connection and partnership. These feelings and intentions will last throughout the year.” Working on your intentions together as a team can be fun and more rewarding.
Baby Steps: “Be realistic and encourage your child to do the same. Setting lofty intentions can lead to disappointment. Start simple and appreciate every accomplishment, big and small, to set you and your kids up for a great year.”