Setting family goals for the new year is a great way to teach your little ones about the importance of long-term objectives and responsibility. All toddlers naturally crave routine and habits—and encouraging healthy new year’s resolutions for kids is a great way to start!
Let Your Children Choose Their New Year’s Resolutions
OK, maybe we should say “guide them as they choose.” Giving your children free reign to pick their new year’s resolution might not always produce the desired result (even if it’s hilarious). But, when given the chance, children are very aware of what are good goals to have, and what are bad goals to have.
A large part of ensuring you set healthy new year’s resolutions for kids that actually stick, is letting them feel involved. If they feel they have responsibility for whether it succeeds or fails, they will be more likely to enforce them.
Healthy New Year’s Resolutions For Kids
When guiding your kids as they decide what the goals are, it’s good to have an idea of the direction you want to steer them in. Ideally, you want a goal that encourages positive behavior, gives the child some responsibility and it’s beneficial for both you and your child.
Really, your new year’s resolutions for kids could be anything. It could be “keep my room tidy” or “I will eat more vegetables” or “I will get better at English.”
While these are all fantastic resolutions, you have to make sure there’s some sort of balance.
If you simply disguise chores as a resolution, it is unlikely to stick because the child has no intrinsic motivation to do it.
This is why it’s important to let your child have a say when choosing the resolution as it will help identify something that they believe is a good habit to form. But even so, how do you ensure that the child feels responsible for keeping the resolution? How do you encourage intrinsic motivation?
Setting Family Goals For The New Year: Talk About the New Year’s Resolutions
When setting family goals for the new year, ask your child a few questions to first identify if they are saying it because they think it’s what they should say or because they actually believe it.
You may ask:
Why do you want to make this resolution?
Why is this good for the family?
Why is this good for you?
How are we going to keep it?
As you ask these questions, you’ll get a feel for whether it’s a good resolution or not. Remember, you can always guide them as necessary by saying things like “what about… instead?” Once you have decided on the new year’s resolution, it’s time to plan! Here are some tips to do it.
Mix Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
Even the most focused children can struggle with long-term goals. After all, a year seems like a lot longer to them than it does to you! For every main goal you have, such as “I will eat less junk food,” you should have a series of smaller goals or rewards for good behavior.
This could be: if you don’t eat any junk food from Monday to Friday, you will get a treat during the weekend. Since the real goal isn’t prohibiting bad food but rather encouraging a healthy relationship with food, this still fits into the resolution!
You could also offer choices, giving your child the opportunity to take responsibility. For example, if the child is good during the week, you can give them the choice of:
- Two-weekend snacks
- One weekend snack and a trip to the park
And remember to respect their decision! Otherwise, they are unlikely to feel the sense of responsibility.
Record Your Progress
For us as adults, it can be difficult to keep resolutions—so imagine how difficult it is for your kids! By recording your progress with colorful charts or badges on the fridge, you can help them visualize how well they’re doing. It is also extremely useful to keep track of when you are meeting short-term goals that can be rewarded.
New Year’s Resolutions For Kids… And Adults!
Finally, the most important thing to realize is that you’re setting family goals for the new year. Everything your child does, you should do too. Leading by example is always the most powerful way to encourage good behavior. This works better if it’s an area you can also improve in too (not brushing your teeth, for example, which you do anyway). In this way, your child can see you’re making an effort too and it’s an exercise that involves the whole family!
At Lingokids, we believe new year’s resolutions are an excellent opportunity to encourage positive, long-lasting behavior.
If your goal is to speak more English, our app is based on the Playlearning™ method and will help your kid progress week by week. Visit our website to learn more!
You can also help your children show their appreciation. Discover how in our article “How to raise a grateful child.” And don’t forget to follow us on our YouTube and Social Media channels to find out more tips about parenthood.