Help Your Kids Make Their Resolutions Stick

Elizabeth B. Martin, Author & Illustrator
Elizabeth B. Martin, Author & Illustrator

Did you make any resolutions for 2016? If so, how are you doing?

As we all know, to make a resolution stick throughout the year and to achieve any modicum of success, we need to turn well-intentioned resolutions into goals, and those goals need action steps with deadlines.

Yes, deadlines.

Okay, that’s the grownup version of resolutions. But what can we expect of our children, especially the younger tykes?

Well, we can use some of the same measures, just scaled down a bit.

It’s Never Too Late to Set a Goal

We make such a fuss about deciding on resolutions at the start of the year, don’t we? But in our lives we actually set goals throughout the year at different intervals. Some are personal and some are work-related.

It’s not too late to sit your kids down and help them establish their own goals. They needn’t be for the entire year. Even if they decide on goals for the month – or even the week – that’s a start, don’t you think? I do.

So what types of goals can young children possibly set for themselves? Quite a few, actually.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Do your tykes spend too much time on their PlayStation 4? Don’t all kids these days? Well, that’s no reason your child can’t cut back. You’ll be saving their hands from future bouts of repetitive stress injury and helping them to take an interest in books – an interest that may very well last throughout their entire lives. Ask them if they would feel comfortable spending an hour less a day on their PlayStation or other device and instead play outdoors, spend time with the dog, and either read or thumb through picture books.
  2. Do your kids prefer soft drinks to either water or milk? Perhaps you can make a resolution together. You’ll stop buying the sugary drinks and instead purchase more wholesome beverages such as flavored carbonated water such as Crystal Geyser, milk, flavored milk, or Kefir.
  3. Do your children ignore you when you try to talk to them? All of your children can join in this resolution and resolve to look at each other when speaking. You can also resolve not to split your attention when they talk to you.
  4. Do you find yourself tripping over your kids’ clothes, toys, or school supplies? There’s no need for that. Maybe they need a toy chest, painted milk crates, plastic bins, a new bookcase, or a bench with storage space within the seat. A dash of color can make some of these items colorful and decorative while hiding a kid’s mess.
  5. Do you have trouble getting your kids to complete their homework? A new routine might be in order. Make sure that your children complete all of their homework as soon as they return from school and before they watch the television, talk on the phone, or play video games.
  6. Gossip is bad for the soul and can cost you a dear friendship. Set an example by resolving never to gossip again and encourage your children to follow your example.
  7. Does your child want to improve his or her grades? Explain that to attain this goal there are other steps they must take first, such as turning in all of their homework on time, allowing sufficient time to study for tests, and asking questions in class when the teacher covers a topic they don’t fully understand. You can query your child each night to see if he or she needs extra help with their homework. Support your child however you can to help your kid be successful.

What types of resolutions are your family making in 2016?

Elizabeth B. Martin is the author and illustrator of six picture books for children. You can view her books here for free and download a Free coloring book here.