TomorrowMakers

All children need is a little fun guidance to set and follow through with their New Year’s resolutions.

6 Tips to help your children set and keep their New Year’s resolutions

If you look at some of your entrenched habits, you’ll most likely be able to trace them back to your childhood. That’s because the habits inculcated in children go a long way in shaping their personalities in adulthood. As a parent, you play a significant role in your children’s growth and development through their childhood and adolescence. There’s so much learning and growing to do, and setting goals can help give direction to these efforts. Creating resolutions together for 2020 is a great start to building good habits. 

1. Lead by example

Children are quick to mimic adults. The things you do daily are subtly ingrained in your children's minds, which is why you must lead by example. So, if you want them to cut down on junk food and eat more fruits, starting your day with a bowl of freshly cut fruits would be an impactful example. When they see you eat a healthy breakfast, it becomes the new normal for them. They may come to associate breakfast with fruits and naturally opt for the same. 

2. Make it a family activity

The last few days of December are a great time to come together as a family with chart papers and sketch pens, and discuss goals and dreams for the coming year. This is an extension of teaching by example. If you do it as a family activity, your children won’t get the feeling that rules and restrictions apply only to them. They may actively speak about what they want, and you can guide them in setting their New Year’s resolutions. 

3. Keep the list realistic

While setting resolutions for the new year, it’s very easy for children to get carried away. If they have made an impossibly big list of things they want to do, help them narrow it down to a few. That will help them focus and meet their goals rather than feel frustrated with all the changes they have to make. 

Related: 10 Tips to continue sticking to your New Year’s resolutions

4. Create an action plan 

To set a resolution is to set a goal. But having an action plan is critical to get there. This involves a little brainstorming, and your children will need your help. For instance, if their resolution is to learn a new language (say, French), make them join a class, watch French movies every weekend, download a language learning app for them, and cook French food together once in a while. The more involved they get in the culture, the more interesting learning the language will be. 

5. Follow up, but don’t nag

You have the best intentions for your children, but to them, frequent reminders can seem like nagging. So, while it’s essential to follow up, you can have a monthly tradition of tactfully discussing how everyone is doing with their resolutions. If they slack off on certain days or weeks because of exams or a family function, consider it normal. Some lapses are unavoidable. During such times, they may need your help to get back on track. 

Related: 5 Tips for mothers to help their kids handle exam stress

6. Build a reward system

It’s crucial that the motivation for any resolution comes from within and that the reward is the result of meeting the goal. However, a little external motivation never hurt anyone. If your children’s resolution is to save Rs 500 every month, each time they reach that goal, you can pitch in with an extra Rs 100. Money-saving apps can assist you and your children to keep track. 

Related: The pros and cons of giving children an allowance that every mother should know

Now you’re well-prepared to help your children make their resolutions in 2020 – and set some of your own as well! In the end, it’s not about changes in the calendar or about sticking it out for 12 months. Resolutions help prepare for long-term changes and build the path you and your children want to follow. They also teach three invaluable qualities: discipline, resilience, and patience. Read this 5 ways to assess your finances this New Year.

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