’tis the season to start planning your New Year resolutions. Why not grab a couple or more off of this list?
As a parent, it’s very important to look back on the year that’s passed and to take note of the things you wished you could’ve done differently – especially with regards to your kids.
Wish you could’ve listened more instead of shouting at your child right away? Wish you could’ve played with them more instead of locking yourself up in the office?
For the year that’s gone by, what’s done is done. But thank goodness you have another year to make things right.
Here are some New Year resolution ideas you may want to take into consideration:
Resolve to empathize with your child more.
As your child gets older, he will discover several new tasks that he must learn to master. Whether it be something as seemingly simple as tying his shoe or answering his math homework, the world is full of “firsts” that your child must so bravely conquer.
Keeping that in mind though, conquering all the tasks will not be easy. There will be days wherein he will struggle so hard trying to get things done that he may end up feeling overwhelmed or frustrated.
While all of this is going on, you may be feeling frustrated too. On one hand, you want your child to learn on his own, but it’s taking every ounce of your strength to not jump in to help him out.
You feel yourself getting frustrated at your child’s inability to accomplish a task that you either sit back exasperated from watching, or you jump in and “help” while admonishing him.
By resolving to empathize with your child more, you must remember to put yourself in his shoes. How would you feel if you were just learning to tie your shoes but couldn’t get it no matter how hard you tried? Would a parent breathing down your neck help?
Or would you rather have a parent who was patient and who’d encourage you until you get the task done? Be the parent that the 5-year-old you would want, it’s most likely the same thing that your child would want from you.
Resolve to shout less, and to talk more.
As a parent, it is important to remember that we model acceptable behavior for our children. Therefore, if they see us shouting time and time again, they may come to consider it as a norm.
To avoid this, it is recommended that we avoid shouting whenever possible and get closer to our child so we can properly communicate with him.
If your child is not behaving that way that you’d like him to, if he’s up to no good, don’t shout at him from across the room. Walk up to him, get down to his level, and while maintaining eye contact, talk to him about his behavior and give suggestions as to how he can improve it.
Resolve to catch your kids being good.
As a mom, I find myself always on the look out to see if my kids are up to no good. Now that I look back at the year, I wonder how many incidents of good behavior I overlooked just because I was so busy waiting for my kids to mess up?
This time around, I’d like for all parents to resolve that we look at the good things that our children are doing and to immediately praise them for it. If you see your children playing peacefully together, say, “Wow! I love how nicely you’re all playing together. Good job!”
Your child will revel in the positive attention and will most likely repeat the good behavior, thus giving you a well- behaved child and you a more positive attitude when dealing with him.
Resolve to spend more one-on-one time with your child. It is instrumental in strengthening the emotional bond between you two.
Resolve to follow through.
Whether it be following through with a promise you made or with punishment, it’s important that you stick to your word. If you show your child that your word cannot be trusted, it may hurt them in the long run.
How so? If you promise your child a treat after he showed good behavior but don’t deliver, it may show your child that you cannot be trusted and that there may be no point in behaving properly since they didn’t get the reward they were promised.
On the other hand, if you aren’t strict with what you say you’d do when it comes to punishment and you constantly let your child off the hook, then they may repeat the improper behavior again and again.
So to avoid this, it is important to practice consistency and to follow through with praise and with discipline. For tips on how to do so, you may click here.
Resolve to have more one-on-one time.
This is especially true for families with two or more children. One-on-one time allows parent and child to spend time together doing something that both parties enjoy thus building special rapport a parent will need for effective parenting.
One-on-one time excludes doing chores, and may instead be time spent together doing arts and crafts, playing together in the park or simply chatting with one another over ice cream.
One-on-one time allows you to develop an emotional bond, so be sure to keep your focus on your child. Put away your gadgets and switch off your phone. Your child will thank you for the time you spent solely focused on them.
Resolve to introducing your child to new food each week.
Whether or not you have a picky eater, exposing your child to a variety of foods is ultimately something that will be beneficial to his health. So be it a new vegetable or protein, try to incorporate a new ingredient to his meal once a week.
The goal is to slowly introduce the new foods to his diet, not to force feed him. For tips on how to introduce new food to your child, click here.
Resolve to read to your kids more.
As parents, we are told time and time again to read to our tots because reading contributes to the development of their intelligence and to their communication and thinking skills. But did you know that it also fosters a strong parent-child relationship, too?
As your child grows, he’ll be busy with schoolwork, running around, will be off on “grand adventures” with his playmates and you may be busy with work and household chores.
Reading time may be one of the best times the both of you can sit back, relax, and cuddle with each other.
Make it a point to spend more time outdoors with your family.
Resolve to enjoy the great outdoors with your kids.
Aside from being able to enjoy not being cooped up at home or in the office, playing with your kids outside allows them to master emerging physical skills such as running, jumping, throwing, catching and more.
It helps them (and you) burn calories which helps prevent obesity and other health problems. Also, according to earlychildhoodnews.com, when outside, children are encouraged to “learn much through their senses.
Outside there are many different and wonderful things for them to see (animals, birds, and green leafy plants), to hear (the wind rustling through the leaves), to smell fragrant flowers and the rain-soaked ground, to touch (the bark of a tree), and even to taste (raindrop on the tongue)”.
Resolve to take better care of yourself.
You’ve most likely been told this before, but really, how many times a week do you take time out of your schedule to do nothing but relax? To kick back with your gadgets switched off and your children with a babysitter?
Moms should be able to take a break every now and then, especially since you wear so many hats! Mom, wife, doctor, cook, and more. In fact, according to Drphil.com, “If you take care of yourself first, you can ensure that you will be mentally, physically and emotionally there for your family.”
So do yourself a favor and book that massage right now! You’ll see in the long run that by taking care of yourself, you find yourself more revitalized and energized to tackle whatever comes your way.
Resolve to spend more time with your partner.
Now that we’ve finished reminding you how important it is to take care of yourself, equally as important is you taking care of your spouse. When you become a parent, “me-time” along with “couple time” dwindles drastically.
It is imperative that you make an effort to bond with your spouse as much as you can, because “getting enough couple time builds intimacy, opens communication and strengthens your bond, which in turn strengthens your marriage.
Plus, it provides your kids with a good example for their own future relationships.”
Good luck to you should you choose to pursue any of the proposed resolutions. If you have any of your own that weren’t mentioned, feel free to share them in the comments section.
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