Another year has passed in the blink of an eye. As parents we all have the same thought going through our minds as we stand on the brink of a new year, “Where did the time go?” For many people, the start of a new year is a time to plan for new beginnings, new habits, and positive changes to strive for in the next 365 days to come. Also for many of us, a new year means absolutley nothing. . .it’s just another day in the calendar. Let’s face it, making a new year’s resolution comes with a lot of pressure or high expectations to fulfill it. However, the beauty in a new year’s resolution is that you can to decide on the stakes, the parameters, and whether or not to even have one. Resolutions can be for you as an individual (which would take over another blog entry in itself) or for your whole family as a unit. Having a family resolution instills a sense of belonging and holding each other accountable for staying on track. Below are some tips and ideas for individual and family resolutions that are attainable and can be a lot of fun acheiving together.
Family Game Night. Pick one day of the week or maybe every other week on your calendar to devote to family game night. Family members can take turns being the designated “game maker” who chooses what games to play.
Pick-a-new-place. This could be as easy as venturing to a new park in your neighborhood, a new cafe, or just windowshopping at a new store that you’d typically pass over. If you make it a point to get to know your neighborhood children will feel a stronger sense of community.
Home Restaurant. Once a month turn your kitchen into a restaurant with each family member playing a part. This doesn’t have to be fancy or over-the-top but just adding a few extra aprons and pads of paper for “taking orders” really turns on the fun. Family members can plan one or two easy dishes “patrons” can choose from and everyone can have sit down meal that each person has helped contribute to prepare. Restaurant theme ideas might be take-out pizza, make your own sub sandwiches, baked potato bar, taco stand, etc.
Family Library Time. Take advantage of your local library’s events for children. Make it a point to attend story hour once or twice week. If you plan it on your calendar ahead of time it will just become a good habit for the whole family.
Screen-free Saturdays (or Sundays or both!). Designate one day a week as screen-free with lots of other fun activities planned in place of being in front of a screen. If you already a have a child who is a little “too accustomed” to screen time, I’d recommend starting small first. Try screen-free mornings or screen-free afternoons before you cut cold-turkey in order to avoid a struggle. There is some new research about the benefits of cutting down screen time for the children but I’ll save that for the next blog. 🙂
The Parenting Hub would love to hear your family new year’s resolutions. Please send your resolutions to: firstname.lastname@example.org