With Christmas in the rearview, New Year’s Day is coming up quick. Many people take this time to make goals or promises to themselves for self-improvement. However, New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to be relegated to the grown-ups as they toast their champagne. Starting around age seven is a great time for kids to start making their own resolutions. They’ll begin to have a better idea of what they’d like to change in their life at this point, and you can help them make smart decisions as far as their goals for the next year are concerned. We’ve gathered some ways that you can help your little ones make great resolutions for 2018. Call Rebounderz in Edison when you want to pursue your resolution of family fitness!
Kids take a lot of cues for how to act from their parents. Because of this, it’s important that you set resolutions that you not only believe in, you actually actively pursue. This is a great way to teach kids about long-term goal making, but if you give up after a month or two, it will show them that they can give up too. That means you may need to set more reasonable resolutions that you can achieve. Sit down with your kids to discuss resolutions and let them know what yours are. Give them examples of how you are going to pursue this resolution (i.e. eating healthier means less fast food, etc.)
Instilling good habits when pursuing goals is something that doesn’t just affect New Year’s Resolutions; it can have a positive effect throughout the year, both at home and school. When children see goals set and achieved, it shows them what work ethic and drive can do for them. This will also give them a sense of responsibility and control over their actions that can have long-lasting effects as they get older.
We know sticking to a resolution is hard, and it’s easy to get down on yourself when you struggle to achieve what you want. But making a resolution is an exciting time and you should be positive about it. You’ve made a decision to improve some aspect of your life! Staying confident about your goal as you work towards it is just another way you can set a good example for your kiddos. When they see how you react to a setback, they learn behaviors that can carry into adulthood. By showing them a positive outlook in the face of a speed bump, it will give them a better drive toward their own goals so they don’t feel like giving up.
It’s important to stay positive about past resolutions as well. Failure is a part of everyone’s life, but dwelling on a misstep only breeds negative feelings about any future goals as well. At the end of the year, have a family meeting where you discuss the previous year’s resolutions, find the positive that came out of it, and look at where improvement could be made for the next year’s goals. Once you’ve covered what was accomplished in the past, everyone will be able to set resolutions that are realistic.
When a goal is made by someone other than the person that is going to pursue it, that goal is less likely to be achieved. It’s hard to be committed to a resolution you didn’t choose for yourself. That’s because goals and resolutions are about self-improvement, so they have to come from within. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help point your children in the right direction with their resolutions. Give them broad categories — personal, friendship, or school,— and see what they would like to improve in those areas. You can also help them narrow things down with some helpful questions. Ask if there are things they could do better or differently. Discuss behaviors and habits they may want to change. See if they want to improve how they treat others. Being better at sharing is a great goal for little ones, especially those with siblings.
When we look at improving ourselves, it’s easy to end up with a laundry list full of goals and tasks. That can be overwhelming for anyone, especially kids. Limiting the number of resolutions will keep everything much more manageable, and make it easier to track progress as well. Keeping it to two or three resolutions is perfect to start with. As they write down their resolutions on a piece of paper, help them make sure they are age appropriate and realistically achievable. Ensure these goals are specific and manageable because if you have to adjust your goal every couple of months, the original goal will be lost, as will the progress that has been made.
Responsibility and a disciplined work ethic are two of the most impactful skills a child can learn. To help them learn those skills, start their goals off with easily achievable steps. When a step is completed, they will gain a sense of accomplishment that fuels their drive to achieve more. Studies say it takes about six weeks for a habit to take hold, so breaking a resolution down into six smaller steps can help make a larger task feel much more feasible. Take a broad resolution like, “I will help more around the house”. After that, add a specific step for how to do that, such as making the bed every morning. Zeroing in on an exact way to achieve the resolution makes the task at hand understandable, even for a little kid.
As the year progresses, check in with your kid to see where they’re at with their resolutions. This isn’t a situation that requires punishment, so don’t pester or scold them if they miss a day or hit a roadblock. Take vacations into consideration, as it’s easy to let everyday routines go by the wayside when you aren’t home or in your normal situation. Help them understand that you know how difficult this is, but reinforce the thought that they can actually do this if they stick with it. See if there are particular issues standing in their way and help them find ways to overcome them.
Placing the list of family resolutions in a prominent spot, like in the kitchen, will help everyone keep them in mind when they can get lost in the shuffle of a busy life. If you put them on a whiteboard, it can also be a place where milestones can be tracked, such as how many days the table has been set for dinner. When you can see a number displaying progress, it makes it feel more tangible than if you try to keep track in your brain. It will also give you an idea when a resolution may need to be adjusted. Touch base every month or so to see what improvement has been made so everyone can stay on track.
Resolutions don’t have to be solely individual things. When a family makes a group resolution, it brings them together as they work toward a common goal. Family resolutions can be anything from volunteering for a charity to visiting the grandparents more often. These goals are a great way to strive for overall family kindness and positivity. It can be easy to let the negativity of the world bring you down, but when you band together in an effort to put love and respect into the universe, everyone is happier as a result.
Holidays carry many traditions that are brought along from year to year. By making resolutions a tradition, you’re making self-improvement a consistent goal for the whole family. However, it doesn’t have to be a dour or boring event. Great traditions are ones that engage all five of your senses. Play festive music the whole family enjoys, eat some holiday cookies, and light a nice smelling candle or drink some cocoa or cider. To engage touch and sight, add a physical object that can symbolize the resolution, like a snowglobe of a destination the family would like to return to. Families can feel pretty segmented nowadays with the intrusion of electronic devices. Make resolution time phone-free so everyone is fully engaged in the activity.
New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be stressful! Not only can resolutions help you educate your kids on good habits, they can be a great way to bring a family closer together during the holidays. Keep resolutions manageable, take them on in small chunks, make them into habits, and track everyone’s improvement as the year progresses. Make resolutions feel like a fresh start for the next year so everyone can start off on the right foot. If you or your little ones want to make fitness a resolution for 2018, call Rebounderz Trampoline Park in Edison today! We’ve got exercise classes and the safest trampolines around so it’s fun for the whole family. We hope to see you soon!