The new year is just around the corner and if you’re like every other parent I know, you’ll probably be forming resolutions about how to take better care of your household and yourself. The thing with setting goals is they’re often hard to keep for twelve months. The good news is, you’re more likely to stick to it if you have someone else doing it with you. (Gym buddy, anyone?) This time, why not get the whole family involved and have each member commit to an age-appropriate version of the same general resolution? It’s a great way to build accountability within the family. You also get to form a unique bond with your children as you work together towards the same goal.
Here are some examples of resolutions you can have as a family – and what it looks like for each member. You may also want to create a rewards system for when everyone does their part for the week, to encourage each person to get involved. This is also a chance for your kids to nag you instead of having you nag them all the time!
Every young parent knows how challenging it is to keep the house in order when you have toddlers, kindergartners, or even grade-schoolers in the house. Between preparing meals, bringing them to and from school, and making sure they don’t kill each other, there really isn’t much time to keep the house. This year, make it a family endeavour.
Pre-schoolers – I’ll put away my toys every afternoon before dinner.
Grade schoolers – I’ll fix my bed every morning and pack my things every evening.
High schoolers – I’ll clean my desk once a week and my room once a month.
Parents – I’ll declutter the house every quarter with the kids.
Getting kids to eat their vegetables is often a struggle. Avoiding sweets and junk food is another dilemma. It’s so much easier to have the kids feed themselves on days when you have no bandwidth to deal with their cravings. Everyone knows, though – you are what you eat. Most people can have healthier diets, so why not try to get it done in 2020?
Pre-schoolers – Eat one portion of fruit before having a sweet.
Grade schoolers – Have one serving of vegetables every dinnertime.
High schoolers – No junk food on weekdays. No junk food one hour before meals on weekends.
Parents – Eat two portions of vegetables or fruits for every portion of meat.
If there’s one new year’s resolution that keeps making it to the list every January, this would be it (alongside “lose weight”). Making your exercise goals more specific – and having your kids keep you accountable for it – might just get you to tick this one off the list next year. Getting involved in your children’s activities will also keep you moving more often than you normally would, so why not integrate all your goals into common activities?
Pre-schoolers – Walk to the park with mommy or daddy every other day.
Grade schoolers – Sign up for swimming or soccer lessons.
High schoolers – Go for a 5k run (with dad) at least once a week.
Parents – Go to the gym and exercise for at least 45mins at least once a week.
This resolution applies to grown-ups and children alike. We can all use some internet-free time and one of the best ways to do that is to replace it with some analog, low-tech activities. Board games, books, and good old-fashioned running around in the backyard will do wonders.
Pre-schoolers – Read a book for 30mins instead of watching a cartoon.
Grade schoolers – Play a board game with siblings or parents instead of a computer game.
High schoolers – Turn off mobile phones right after dinner every weeknight.
Parents – Observe a daily “quiet hour” with zero mobile devices for 60mins.
One thing most parents agree on – there is no replacement for quality time with your kids. So why not be a bit more intentional in spending your hours together? Ask your children what they’d like to do during their exclusive mommy or daddy time. Make it a weekly habit and form special memories while they’re growing up – the investment will always be worth it.
Pre-schoolers – End the day with a quiet conversation and storytime.
Grade schoolers – Wait and watch them during soccer or baseball practice. Go for ice cream or burgers afterwards.
High schoolers – Go out on movie nights or dinners once a week; your child gets to choose where you’ll go. Moms can take their daughters shopping, too!
Parents – Go on dates without the kids at least once a month.
The new year always brings with it a chance to make things better. When everyone pitches in and works towards a common goal, the family builds a greater sense of unity and ownership. Remember to celebrate milestones along the way so you can keep the momentum going. Let 2020 be the year your family starts pulling together and making things happen for each other.