A new year means a chance to start new habits that will hopefully continue throughout the year. And new year’s resolutions are not just for adults. Children can get in on this habit. Here are a few ideas to get your child started.
Limit Screen Time
Limiting screen time is arguably the number one issue that parents struggle with. Today’s generation lives on the internet and there are many benefits that it has, but too often screen time comes at the cost of creativity, activity, and socialization. When talking about screen time with your children, make sure they are involved in the process. While there are recommendations for the amount of screen time that children should have, you also need to take into account your family’s dynamics.
Have you children talk about how they feel about their screen time usage. Perhaps they want to limit themselves but are finding it hard to control themselves. Come up with alternative activities and write a list so that the have a visual reminder of what they could be doing instead.
Be sure to follow-up with your screen time goals. If you can make it so that your children are setting the goal, then more likely they will have ownership over it.
Be More Active
Winter can be hard to get moving, but all the more important as kids need physical activity to help regulate their bodies. Set targets for each day. Be creative. Being active doesn’t have only include team sports. Instead it could be a fun morning stretch, a dance party, a game of tag, or a walk outside. If it’s raining, try an indoor kids center. If it’s snowing, have a snowball fight. Be sure to keep track of how much active time happens each day and create a checklist to ensure everyone is meeting their goal.
Children are very empathetic. If they see someone is sad, they will want to help. Unfortunately, they might not know how to help. As parents, new year’s resolutions can start by brainstorming with your kids about how to help family members, neighbours, and the community. You can start with something small like making cards for family and friends. Freshly baked cookies are a treat that any neighbour will appreciate. You can look for more structured volunteer opportunities in the community such as a local food bank. Even going through toys and clothes and donating them to local shelters or thrift stores will give kids a sense of purpose to help others less fortunate.
The Christmas holiday season usually comes with a surplus of toys, and it’s important to start the new year off right by giving thanks. Kids should at the very least call their generous relatives and thank them. They can also write thank you notes. This behaviour can continue throughout the year, after any holiday or birthday. It teaches children manners and helps them to take the time to really appreciate what they have.