Start the New Year with Family Friendly Happy Resolutions
One the best ways to begin a New Year is to focus on what makes your kids and you feel closer. What sorts of activities will help you connect and keep your children feeling confident and secure. The past two years have been challenging with learning and adjusting to new things quickly, so this New Year’s let’s take the pressure off and invest our energy on unity at home.
I have four suggestions that are helpful in getting you started, but it will be more meaningful if you get creative and add your own.
1. Create a bucket list for the family. Take the first two weeks of January and brainstorm lists of adventures you can do together. Is there a state park nearby, or can you plan a day for sledding? Post the list where everyone can see it and add to it throughout the year.
2. Schedule family game nights. Game nights teach children so much. They get to watch their parents play with them, lose, cooperate, and learn to follow directions. Social psychologists suggest that game nights build unity and good sportsmanship. Put the date of the game night on the family calendar (I suggest once a month). Purchase a new game or borrow one from a family and encourage everyone to play by offering refreshments and encouragement.
3. Take a mystery trip once a month. Plan a trip with your spouse to take the kids each month. These trips can be to zoo or somewhere local, but the most important thing is to keep the destination a mystery. The excitement of a surprise helps motivates children and let them help by giving hints about what to pack.
4. Preparing for challenging times throughout the year. Talking to your children about life and sharing the bad days help kids prepare and build resilience skills. Create a list of each family member’s strengths and what they can do for another family member when someone in the family is feeling down. This list can be age appropriate by allowing kids to use art, music, or other special talent to help cheer other family members up. This is a wonderful way to teach your family that love means you show up, are supportive and sensitive to each other’s needs.
New Year’s is a way to start over and not let the past define us. When parents engage with their kids and lead these resolutions the children feel more motivated, excited, and hopeful about the New Year ahead. Happy New Year!