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How to Help Your Kids Set New Year's Resolutions

The arrival of the New Year is a great time to teach kids about making and keeping goals. Parents know well enough how tough it can be to keep a resolution, so it is important to remember this when helping your child set his or her own New Year’s resolution. Keep these tips in mind to help your little ones make goals they’ll keep in the year ahead.

Lead by Example

Your children look up to you when considering how they should act. By making your own resolutions and sticking to them, you’re showing them that it can be done. Share your own goals with your kids and provide them with details about how you plan to accomplish them. Impress upon them that it is your responsibility to make sure that you succeed and when you do, explain the ways that you’ll benefit from it. Along the way, share your progress.

Encourage, but Don’t Push

When your child is ready to outline his resolutions, talk openly with him about what he wants to do. Feel free to make suggestions, but don’t force a particular goal on him. The more he feels like it is his own personal idea that he is responsible for completing, the more likely he will try to stick with it. Being told to do something will simply seem like a new rule, which could cause him to rebel.

Make it All Positive

Positive reinforcement is a great way for kids to get motivated, so keep that in mind when determining what resolutions she wants to make for the New Year. If she has been struggling in math but does very well in science, for example, bring up her success in one subject first. Reiterate that she has good grades in that class and see how she can transfer that behavior and knowledge to another class. This way she won’t feel like she’s being called out for something negative and may be more motivated to reach the goal.

Create a Plan

Once he has decided which resolutions he wants to pursue this year, sit down and help your child create a plan that works for him. Talk to him about taking small steps instead of trying to complete the entire goal right away. Discuss the importance of small victories and determine the best steps to take both in the short-term and in the long-term. You could even turn the plan into a fun checklist that he can mark off to show his progress along the way.

Check-In Over Time

While it is important to avoid nagging your child about her progress, checking in as time passes is a good way to be sure she stays on track. If there is something she missed in the plan or if she is feeling frustrated, discuss what can be done to help move forward and tweak the plan if necessary. Once the resolution has been reached completely, congratulate her for being responsible and celebrate her accomplishments.

Need some more help on goal setting and habit forming? We’re here for you. 


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