Family New Year’s Resolutions
(for lyrics of the song click here)
“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’ …” Alfred Tennyson.
Why do adults make New Year’s resolutions?
For most of us the New Year represents an opportunity to start again with a clean slate, to strive for a better version of ourselves, perhaps spurred on by the spirit of the season of ‘good will to all men’.
The festive season offers us respite and a change of scenery from the rigours and stresses of modern life and causes us to reflect on how we might attain a little of that respite throughout the year to come. The holidays provide time not only to think and reflect but to translate this into action and the act in itself can provide the sense of achievement and satisfaction that comes with setting yourself a new direction. As they say ‘a change is as good as a holiday’.
Making New Year’s resolutions is typically an adult activity, but have you ever considered doing the same with your children? Maybe that should be your New Year’s resolution!
“To create time with your children to explore their dreams and goals for the New Year, including your own hopes and aspirations for them, and then making plans for them to happen”
Why involve your children?
As our children grow and experience different situations and challenges, they develop beliefs and values about what is possible and what is not. We want to take the opportunity of this New Year period to help children reflect on their unique gifts, growth and achievements in the year past, to build their confidence and self-esteem, explore their potential and open up to learning and developing in the year ahead.
Collaborating with your children on their goals and using an achievable step by step approach will set your child up for success for the year; success that leads to increased self-esteem and self-confidence. Goals provide a structure to help children and parents achieve what they want – call it a map. Goal setting can serve as an effective tool for kids to make progress in many areas of their life. Refer to our article on the benefits of goal setting for kids.
According to an old adage “effective parenting consists of first giving a child the roots to grow and then the wings to fly; the security of a firm base and the confidence to leave it”.
>So what specific goals do you choose for your child?
Think about what your child, or you as a parent would like them to achieve for the year. Is there a particular challenge or problem that interferes with your child’s life? What kinds of strengths and abilities will your children need to have in order to be happy and successful when they grow up?
Maybe your child has a specific fear or anxiety accompanied by avoidance behaviours that are causing them problems. Create a goal to face their fears by using manageable and graded steps. It might surprise you to know that anxiety is the most common problem reported by children of all ages, and it can have a severe impact. Read how anxiety impacts a child’s life.
As many as one in five families are coping with children who have a disability and/or who struggle to learn. You could create a vision for your child with goals that focus on their future ability, for example fostering independence or developing communications skills.
Maybe it’s about building and strengthening friendships, developing habits around health and fitness, delivering a speech with confidence, being more assertive to a school bully, learning to play the guitar, or even saving up for a favourite toy.
Refer to our article 7 ways goal setting can be used with kids for more ideas.
Make sure choosing a goal is a collaborative process with your child, as they will feel supported, understood and have a sense of ownership and commitment. The process is actually a lovely opportunity to bond with your child and develop a deeper level of understanding.
It’s not about having goals that create pressure on our children, or attempt to perfect them, rather goals that encourage them to do their best and create a climate in which learning and effort is valued.
When choosing a goal you will also need to think about why the achievement of the goal is important. Your child may not always recognise what is good for them, so spending some time talking about this is important and will help to motivate you both to follow through, especially when times get a little tougher.
While you are at it why not consider setting some family goals.
You’ve got your vision and goals, what next?
Once you’ve chosen the goal/s, together with your child you’ll need to write a step-by-step plan to make it happen. This is where your child, with your help of course, will need to address the following questions:
1. What do I want to achieve?
2. Why do I want to do this?
3. What specific steps must I take to make this happen?
4. How will I reward myself for completing this goal?
Our goal setting with kids in 8 easy steps will help you set realistic and appropriate goals and lay out an achievable plan. You’ll also learn how to motivate, monitor and reward your child’s progress and manage everyone’s emotions along the way.
Why not pop over to Fishwah.com, take a free trial of our unique interactive goal setting tool. It will guide you through the goal setting process with your child and increase the likelihood of success.
It’s easy to use and provides the structure to break goals into manageable steps, a system for rewarding progress, and tips and strategies for Mums and Dads. Its design is colourful and fun and because it uses technology kids find it motivating and engaging, and as we know motivation plays a crucial role in the success and achievement of goals.
Fishwah wishes you all the success in helping your children enjoy the year and grow and develop into relaxed, happy and confident kids.