New Year’s Eve probably isn’t exactly what you might consider a “kid-friendly” holiday. But just because your children might not last long enough to see the ball drop, doesn’t mean they cannot contribute to this special event. In fact, New Year’s Eve is a great time to come together and set some family goals for the upcoming year.
To help a bit, here is a handy outline of New Year’s Resolutions for Families. Many of the items on the list are things you have already considered for the new year, but this approach is more of a family affair.
Sit down to dinner
Research also shows that kids who eat with their family get better grades. And if you need even more reasons to sit down to dinner, eating meals at home costs less than eating out, and cooking your own meals puts you in charge of what (and how much) you and your family are eating — so it will be easier to make healthier choices. Make a resolution to sit down and eat dinner together as a family at least four nights a week.
Stop over scheduling
If your kids have every moment of their days scheduled, consider letting them opt out of one or two activities. Let your children find the balance of participating in activities they enjoy while also allowing time for free play, friends, family and sleep. Make a promise to your family to ease back on all the structure and planning to allow everyone (even you!) to have more free time.
Unplug once a week
No one can deny the positive impact technology has on our lives. However, if your family is constantly “connected” to the computer or smartphones, watching TV or playing video games, it’s time to take a break and reconnect with each other. Designate one day a week as an “unplugged” day. On this day, get back to basics with these fun and simple ideas:
· Go hiking, biking or swimming.
· Create a special arts-and-crafts project.
· Cook a meal together as a family.
· Play board games or cards.
· Spend time talking, relaxing and laughing.
Plan family fitness days
Hold fun family fitness days to keep your family fit and healthy this year. Take a walk or go running together every evening and take advantage of extra time on the weekends to try out these new, fun ways to exercise as a family:
Keep a record of your life together
Starting a family journal is a great way to spend more time with your kids as well as gain insight into their innermost feelings. Keeping a journal with your kids can be as simple as sharing a spiral notebook in which you can all jot down a few sentences (or more) about a shared experience. Don’t forget photos - give your children family pictures. Create family memories and leave a pictorial family history. Keep a journal so that your kids can really know you AND do not forget to get yourself in pictures.
On the road
Traveling more is a wholesome resolution that every member of the family is sure to enjoy. The trips don’t have to be extravagant, break-the-bank treks. Think camping, road trips and visiting friends and family in nearby cities or states.
Take time to chat
If you’re not used to simply chatting with your kids, creating a resolution to communicate more (outside of the necessities of the day-to-day) may seem a little silly at first. However, the more you start enjoying casual conversation with your family the easier it will become. Plus, it will bring you closer to your children so that it will be easier to have those tough conversations that are oh-so-necessary throughout the awkward teen years. If your kids seem reluctant at first, make the first move by telling them about your day or a special memory that you have from when you were their age.
Laugh more, argue less
Create a laid-back atmosphere in your household with lots of laughs and love. Control your temper and be kind to others, and your children will follow suit. Reducing confrontations and stress leads to a healthy and happy environment for everyone.
Give warm greetings and farewells to each other
Make a group resolution to “give warm greetings and farewells.” This habit is surprisingly easy to acquire — it doesn’t take any extra time, energy or money — and it makes a real difference to the atmosphere of home.
At T’s Learning Center, where we offer full-time daycare in Ponte Vedra and surrounding areas, we encourage good habits. We stay true to what you expect from your family and help reinforce those positive behaviors in our toddlers, preschoolers, and all those we care for.