New year’s resolutions are a great way to set goals for the year to come. Children and parents can create resolutions to make the year ahead a better year.
New Year’s resolutions are not only for adults. Resolutions are a great example of goal setting that can help children and families develop healthy habits now that will serve them well as they develop and avoid bad habits.
It is important for adults to follow the SMART guidelines when setting resolutions for themselves and their children. The SMART guidelines are specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented and time-bound. Keeping these important rules in mind will help everyone achieve their goals.
Keeping those guidelines in mind, here are a few suggestions for children and their parents when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions in 2024.
Wash hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
Children who wash their hands often or use hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of germs to themselves and others.
Put toys where they belong when finished playing.
Tidiness and organization are important as children develop into teenagers and young adults. Requiring a child to pick up after themselves helps instill a sense of responsibility as they develop.
Brush teeth twice per day.
Teeth brushing helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Teaching a child to brush early (as their first tooth comes in) makes brushing a part of the child’s long-term routine.
Learn a new vocabulary word every day.
Reading can assist in social and cognitive development in young children. Often, the literacy levels of children who read frequently are higher than children of the same age who do not read regularly.
Eat fruits or vegetables with every meal.
Fruits and vegetables are part of a balanced diet and ensure healthy growth and development in children. They also strengthen a child’s immune system to help fight illness.
Compliment something your child did well every day.
Praising a child helps develop their confidence. It shows them how to recognize when they have done well and when to feel proud.
Spend less time on electronics.
Children whose parents spend too much time on their phone, tablet or television are more likely to experience behavioral issues. If a child feels the need to compete for their parent’s attention, they are less likely to respect the authority of their parents.
Begin a regular family activity (game night, community service, etc.).
Along with creating a welcome sense of family bonding, certain activities can improve development skills like problem-solving or motor function.
Read multiple times per week with your children.
Children’s speech development progresses at a rapid pace. Reading to children and participating in regular discussions helps introduce them to new words and context that expands their vocabulary.
Let your children explain themselves and ask them questions.
When children are asked open-ended questions, they learn to think about what they want to say and review what they have already said. This skill can assist in problem-solving abilities and push children towards independent thought.