New Year’s resolutions for children
January 3, 2011
by Jenni Sebora

With a new year comes the act of making resolutions or a promise of some type of change in one’s life. It is about goal setting and trying to attain that goal we set up for ourselves. It is OK to involve our children in this process. It is about teaching our children to set goals that can be attainable.

Our children’s resolutions can be about health and healthy habits that can help them become healthy adults and remain with them into and through adulthood.

With the rise of obesity and the decrease in physical activity among our children, making resolutions about exercise and eating healthy is very appropriate for children of all ages.

Children can make resolutions that they will eat one fruit and vegetable at each meal, or that they will drink more water and milk and less soda pop.

Plentiful exercise is important for children and adults alike. Children can make a concerted effort to exercise each day, which may include biking, walking, or playing outside.

How about the promise to turn the tube off and watch less television? Help your child set a limit as to the amount of television and computer time they will engage in each day so they are more engaged in other things. With this resolution, a goal about being responsible using the computer, Internet, or cell phone is appropriate. Help your child with being a responsible technology user.

Children can start at early ages making a commitment to help someone out, to volunteer at church, school, in the neighborhood, or in their community. Making a commitment to be kind to others is a worthwhile resolution that will benefit all involved.

Sitting in a booster seat until the required age, wearing a seat belt each time they get in the car, and wearing a bike helmet when biking are healthy habits that make great commitments.

Trying their best at school is another very important resolution. This may mean starting homework at a certain time each day, or avoiding procrastination on assignments. It may mean making the commitment to study spelling or vocabulary words a little daily rather than waiting until the night before.

Children can start at early ages to help with keeping their rooms clean and organized. After they play with one toy, they put it away before playing with another. How about hanging up the towel in the bathroom after showering or bathing, instead of laying it on their bedroom floor? They can make a commitment to hang their jackets up instead of laying them on the mudroom floor.

Most of these resolutions are not hard, but they are commitments and goals. Resolutions are not about being perfect, but about promises to make healthy changes.