The New Year is a perfect time to make some changes. Many people grab the opportunity, but all too often these changes, which are entered into with gusto, are soon tossed aside for older, more familiar ways. Even though many New Year’s resolutions have to do with dieting, exercise or work habits, parents can seek to make changes in their parenting as well. Here are 6 New Year’s resolutions that may resonate with you.
1) I will recognize that whatever I want to “fix” in my kids needs to be “fixed” in me first. Many times, the things that bother us most about our kids are things that we dislike about ourselves. This is a noble New Year’s resolution that requires a great deal of self-reflection and awareness.
2) I will ask for help when I need it. Being super mom or dad doesn’t make you a hero. Everyone has limits. It is important to know your limits as well as how and when to ask for help.
3) I won’t sweat the small stuff. When you feel your blood beginning to boil, ask yourself, “Is this really a significant event in the big picture of life?” If the answer is “no,” let it go. Practice silence as your first response to any problematic incidents.
4) I will listen more and talk less. If you are known for your long and illustrious lectures, then this is a great year for the teacher to become the student. You don’t always have to agree with what you hear, but allowing your children to share without critique will do much to build your relationship.
5) I will slow down. Get off the treadmill of life and make a conscious decision to invite large chunks of unscheduled time into your week. You and your family will be better off for it.
6) I will seek feedback or accountability from someone I trust. All parents need the support and encouragement from a loved one. If you really want to make some lasting changes, seek accountability. Knowing that someone is going to be checking in on your progress will go a long way in helping you stay motivated.
Instead of trying to tackle some or all of these resolutions, pick just one. If you focus on one area of change you will have a much higher chance of success. Not only that, but you may discover what counselors have known all along – change in one area often translates into change in other areas. It is very possible that your sole selected resolution will spawn resolutions all its own. The result? A year that ends much differently than it began. Happy New Year!