Can you believe that 2012 is almost over? Where did the year go? It honestly feels like we just started 2012 a month or so ago! Many of us are already thinking about 2013 and the things we are going to (or want) to do differently. As the year draws to a close, some of us will actually put our goals for 2013 down on paper and acknowledge them as our “official” New Year’s Resolutions. Personally, I love making New Year’s resolutions. I find it fun to think about the future and the things I want to accomplish and then to make a plan for how I’m going to reach my new goals.
So, I’ve been thinking: if we (adults) make New Year’s resolutions why don’t we talk to our kids about making their own resolutions for the upcoming year? While New Year’s resolutions are meant to be a fun thing to do to start the new year off, it’s really nothing more than goal setting. And, learning how to set and achieve goals is something that we should be teaching our children how to do. Why not start when they’re young enough to understand the basic concept of what it means to set (and achieve) a goal?
If you think teaching your little ones about goals, then why not start this year? Below are some suggestions for how you can help your little ones make their own New Year’s resolutions and how you can help them achieve those goals.
1. Talk to them on their level. As adults, we tend to think about things in a more mature, in-depth manner, which can be confusing for young children. When you talk to your little ones about New Year’s resolution, over-simplify it so they can understand it. Be sure to use examples when explaining what a “goal” is. Let your kids ask questions to ensure you are both on the same page about New Year’s resolutions.
2. Keep the goals simple. Another thing we (adults) do when we set New Year’s resolutions is make goals long-term goals. For instance, “I’m going to lose 25 pounds” or “This year, I’m going to start eating healthy and working out 3 to 5 times a week.” While those are all great goals, they are too hard for little ones because they take too long to achieve. Therefore, help you little ones set simpler goals that can be reached in a shorter period of time.
3. Make a plan to help them reach their new goals. Once you kids have a few New Year’s resolutions in place, sit down with them and formulate a plan to help them reach their goals. For instance, if your little girl wants to compete (and win) a beauty pageant, break that goal down into achievable steps. 1) Find an affordable pageant dress 2) Choose a talent 3) Practice every day, and so on. You can do this with any goal your child has.
4. Encourage them! Finally, the most critical part in helping your kids with their New Year’s resolutions is to continue encouraging them to work to achieve their goals! When they experience a set-back, be there to cheer them on so they don’t give up and quit. And, when they achieve one of their resolutions – celebrate with them…make it a big deal!