I’ve always loved the beginning of a new year. It’s a time when everything is still decorated with all the colorful lights and poinsettias left over from the holidays, yet the stress of gifting and traveling and feasting is basically over. On New Year’s Eve, you are expected to get a little tipsy and stay up late to watch celebrities on TV. It’s a time to reflect on all the wonderful, and unfortunately sometimes tragic, events of the past year. And there are fireworks!
Most importantly though, the New Year represents optimism and hope. This is when we create our New Year’s Resolutions. When we decide how we are going to make our lives, our world, BETTER. Starting now. As parents, we are responsible for not only planning how to make our own lives better each year, but how to improve the lives of our children as well. With that in mind, here are some ideas for resolutions that are good for the entire famiy:
Spend less time in front of screens, and more time together. A friend of mine said she wants her child to have memories of HER, not of a phone in her hand. I’ll be the first to admit that I use my phone to bribe my kid during potty-training. And, the cure for a rainy day often becomes binge-watching Disney movies or old Sesame Street episodes. It’s probably a sort of irony that I’m typing this on my laptop, with my phone on the arm of the couch next to me, while watching TV. But this year, resolve to be more present. Resolve to play more games and complete craft projects and go for walks with the family before turning on a DVD or pull out the iPad.
What’s a good word for the opposite of lazy? Anyway, being that. How many times have you looked at the Lego or Barbie shoe peaking out from under the TV stand and thought, “I’ll get it eventually?” I read once if a task takes less than 2 minutes to complete, just do it! Putting things off is easy, especially with a toddler running around, but it also means that the list of things to be completed after her bedtime just gets longer. Resolve to follow this small piece of advice, and hopefully this habit will carry over to the kids.
Prioritize relationships. Being parents are obviously extremely important, but being an adult, a married couple, or a good friend are important too. I think sometimes it’s easy to forget that. This year, resolve to put yourself first sometimes. Resolve to go on dates with your significant other. Resolve to make and keep plans with friends. It is so important to that kids see her parents as a loving couple and having good friends.
And above all, be happy. There are always reasons to be negative. Everyone has the ability to either choose to let negatives define you moods or you can accept life for what it is. Let go of the things I can’t control. Resolve to take deep breaths or cry when you need to. Then return to recognizing how wonderful life truly is. Despite the hardships all families face, you have a lot to be grateful for.
Don’t be unrealistic. There will be days that the family will sit in front of the TV. Messes will build sometimes. And there are going to be days that you feel like blaming the world for everything that goes wrong. But resolve to make the most of this year and to do your best to stick to the resolutions you have set forth for yourself and your family.
What other New Year’s Resolutions should be added?