Sunday, December 27, 2009
New Year's Resolutions and Children
As January approaches, many people start thinking about making New Year’s resolutions. It seems to be the perfect time to reflect upon the past year and to make promises to improve some aspects of our lives. About half of all adults in the United States make resolutions this time of year.
Children can make resolutions, too! Helping your child create a short resolution list is an important step in teaching about goal setting.
Ask your child what his/her goals are – the answers may surprise you. Young children usually need help to focus on realistic targets with results that can be tracked. For instance, instead of saying, “I’ll become a better reader” or “I’ll read a lot more”, it is better to say something like “I’ll read at least 30 minutes 5 times a week”. Broad resolutions set children up for failure.
Also, many children will come up with a long list, and then soon become overwhelmed. Help them narrow their list down to one or two things they want to improve. Be sure to actually write those resolutions down – private journals, posted lists, or even starting a blog to track their journeys. Writing things down makes them more real.
Finally, follow up with your child about how they are doing. Perhaps you could check in every week or so. If backsliding happens, encourage fresh starts. Also, if you also make resolutions and stick with them, you are providing a great example to follow.