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Thursday, December 13, 2018

7 Parenting New Years Resolutions to Consider for 2019

Photo by Free Images (Flickr)

To ring in the New Year, my girls and I usually head downtown for our town's fireworks display. We love the excitement! This year, I'm also ringing in the New Year with several parenting resolutions. My girls are growing up fast, and I want to make sure I'm doing the best job possible. Consider adding one or more of these seven parenting resolutions to your New Year's celebration, too.

Try to Spend More Quality Time Together

With the speed of daily life, I often find that my girls and I hardly connect at all some days. I want to change this trend in 2019 because quality time is important to my girls' happiness and development. Some ideas that will increase our quality time together include:

  • Share breakfast and talk about our day.
  • Turn off my work phone when the girls are home.
  • Play a board or card game each night.
  • Read a chapter book together before bed.
  • Enjoy a date with each child at least once a month.

Try to Yell Less

Last week, I lost my temper with my girls big time. We did reconcile later that day, but I still feel bad about the incident, especially because I've been yelling a lot lately. It's definitely time for me to try to yell less. To achieve this resolution, I can:

  • Know my triggers and learn how to respond better.
  • Develop stress-relief strategies like deep breathing, exercise, or a timeout.
  • Perform some kind of relaxing and rejuvenating self-care activity each day.
  • Pause when I'm hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (HALT).
  • Relax and accept that sometimes my kids will be kids.

Try to Be Positive

I noticed recently that I often say "no" and "don't" as I talk to my girls. For example, I'll say, "No, you can't wear that outfit" or "Don't poke your sister." As parents, we do have to say no sometimes, but positive interactions make our kids more receptive to what we have to say. We can become more positive parents when we:

  • Spin negative instructions into a positive statement, such as "Please respect your sister's personal space."
  • Sandwich instruction or correction between two praises or compliments.
  • Acknowledge when my girls do things well or make progress toward achieving a goal.
  • Give plenty of hugs, kisses, and smiles during the day.
  • Have more fun together.
  • Choose to laugh over mistakes.

Try to Cook at Home More

My girls and I love to eat! But I don't always have time to cook meals at home. I want to change that habit this year because cooking with kids can:

  • Increase the amount of quality time my kids and I spend together.
  • Improve our health, since home-cooked meals often have less sodium, fat, and calories than fast food.
  • Teach my girls cooking skills and self-sufficiency in the kitchen.
  • Expose us to new cuisines and culinary adventures.

Try to Separate From Your Child

When my girls were babies and toddlers, I did everything for them and with them. Now that they're growing up, I find myself struggling to let them go. We'll all be happier and better-adjusted, though, if I remember that my job as a parent is to equip my kids to be independent adults. While I'll teach my girls self-help skills and continue to set boundaries, I also want to separate from my girls as I encourage them to:

  • Embrace their uniqueness.
  • Make their own choices.
  • Accept natural consequences.
  • Fight their own battles.
  • Own their life.

Try to Play More

There's no better sound in the world than a child's laughter! My girls laugh often as we play. As a bonus, play improves sportsmanship, mental and physical health, and relationships. To add more play to our year in 2019, I want to:

  • Hike at least one trail in each of our state parks.
  • Learn a new sport together.
  • Ride bikes each week.
  • Host dance-offs as we clean our house.
  • Tell more jokes.
  • Enhance my sense of humor and positive outlook.

Try to Develop a Healthy Habit

Like our vehicles need fuel to run properly, we parents need to fill our physical, mental, and emotional fuel tanks. To achieve this goal, I want to develop a healthy habit this year that fills me and shows my girls the value of self-care and health. Some healthy habit ideas to choose from include:

  • Exercise and eat a balanced diet each day.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Meditate or do yoga before bed.
  • Prioritize friendships.
  • Engage in a hobby at least once a week.

As I prepare to ring in 2019, I'm excited about all of the possibilities for my family. To achieve our goals, I know I have to improve my parenting game and want to implement a few parenting resolutions. What New Year's parenting resolutions do you want to try?

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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