December is slowly winding down. January 2016 will soon be tapping at your door, begging for the promise of a new year’s resolution. The key to resolutions is keeping them simple and attainable.
Moreover, resolutions don’t necessarily have to be to do something “new” or “different,” it could easily be to continue an activity or practice that is already functional for you. Why reinvent the wheel, right? For example, if you have already made a routine of walking for 30 minutes everyday or volunteering in your community, celebrate that and continue it for 2016!
Still, if a resolution of continuing with positive activities is too easy, then push yourself a little and focus on a resolution that is more specific to growing as a parent. Choose New Year’s parenting resolutions that will feed you spiritually, physically and emotionally during this long journey of parenthood. Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
a.) Unplug from technology. Unplug from smartphones and iphones, ipads, tablet, television, etc. Yes, there will be an initial panic of “Where’s my phone?” but it will subside. You will find that when your phone is not constantly within arm’s reach, the real focus begins. The focus on how your child looks when s/he sleeps. You’ll hear the snapping of duplos connecting, you’ll see that your child is a pretty good dancer when you sing her favorite song instead of playing it on your handheld device.
b.) Cut out the word, “Don’t!” Instead of telling what your child what s/he can’t do, explain what s/he can do. Young children typically hear the last words that come out of your mouth so when you say, “Don’t run!” They hear, “Run!” Conversely, if you say something like, “Walking feet. Walking feet.” They hear what you want them to do. You sound more positive as a parent and they focus on the appropriate behavior at hand. It’s a win-win!
c.) Read! Read for pleasure or to learn more about how to be a better parent. If your children see you reading, you are providing a sublime role model for early literacy and the love of literature. A highly recommended book for learning about how your child thinks and makes sense of their thought processes is The Whole Brain Child: 12 REvolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Siegel and Bryson (2011). It’s a quick read with wonderful tips and strategies.
d.) Have more dates for ME time. This date time for YOU should be for just YOU but it can on occasion include your partner, best friend, mother, etc. Call your trusted child care provider and take the evening off. Carve time to have a standing date that repeats in your calendar throughout 2016. It doesn’t have to be every week, it could be every other Thursday or even every last Wednesday of the month. Once you have it in the calendar, make sure that there will be no events to overtake that date. Use this time to really connect with yourself or to nurture any adult relationship in your life.
e.) Get more sleep. Let’s face it, everyone could use some extra winks at night to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start a new day. Try turning in at least 15 minutes earlier than you usually do for the first week of January. After 7 night you will have already gained almost 2 extra hours of sleep! By the end of the month that will be 8 hours of additional dreamtime.
The Parenting Hub would love to hear about your resolutions for 2016. Please send your comments to: email@example.com.
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