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New Years Resolutions: A Fresh Start for the Whole Family

2011 December 12
by nannyjob

The New Year gives us all the opportunity to start afresh.  We can leave behind the previous year, and look forward to the one approaching with a clean slate.


Many people make New Years resolutions – but how can these relate to our children and our families in general?

For children, making New Years resolutions can be very beneficial.  It is well known that there is little more satisfying in life than setting – and reaching – attainable goals.  Children’s New Years resolutions could include learning a martial art, joining a dance troupe or an art class, or even learning to play a musical instrument.


However, it is important not to make children feel under pressure.  The modern life of a child is already a fairly stressful one – the last thing children need is to feel as though they must meet their goals perfectly.  Rather than rigid goals (like “I will always share with my siblings” or “I will always do my homework on time”), see New Years resolutions as an opportunity for your children to explore exciting new opportunities.


The New Year is also a great time to focus on making positive changes within your family unit.  This year, alongside your usual resolutions, why not make some group resolutions as a family? Following are some simple suggestions.


Spend more time together

With today’s busy lifestyle, it is hard to find time to spend together as a family.  Quality time is so important – not just for the children, but for the entire family unit.  Forget about trying to find the time, because it won’t happen – you have to make time.  It can seem impossible sometimes when you’re contending with long working hours, school and other commitments, but it’s important to carve out regular time to spend together. A few hours of dedicated, quality time each week is a must for happy families.


Less screens, more conversation

We live in an age where communicating has never been easier.  Email, texting, social networking and phone calls have all but replaced good old face-to-face conversation. Your older children may spend the majority of their time talking to their friends over electronic devices, rather than having real-life chats.  Set an example as a family and agree together to make more effort to really talk to one another, and to your own friends and relatives.  The art of conversation is at risk of being lost within our digital age – keep it alive in your family.


Be present with one another

The aforementioned technological advances can also have an impact on our time spent together as a family, without even realising it.  You may be in the same room as your family, but while you are, how many of you are tapping away at your phones? How many of you are watching a television?  When you manage to snatch some valuable quality time with your nearest and dearest, put the screens away and be present in the moment with each other.  You don’t want your children’s memories of you to be a face buried in a smartphone.

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