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Embracing the New Year: Inspiring Resolutions for Kids

-   James Stevenson (MSc, IEA) - Positive Psychologist and Coach

A new year is a vibrant, exciting time. It marks the closing of a chapter and the beginning of a fresh one. For our youngsters, it's a unique opportunity to spark personal growth and positive changes. These new years resolutions for kids are all about embracing that potential. Kids might like to think of it as being an explorer or an investigator of new things and what's possible. 

Happy new year kids

One of the wonderful things about children is their capacity to play, absorb, adapt, and learn. Even the smallest positive change in a child's behavior or habits can create a ripple effect affecting their surroundings and their future selves. Let's dive into how we can guide them through setting meaningful resolutions.

Understanding New Year's Resolutions

Resolutions are not merely to-do lists but quests of personal self-improvement. They provide us with an aim, a target, something to aspire to. But remember, it's all about propelling forward, not simply achieving an end result. There's a world of wonderful things out there and this quest makes more things possible. 

Talk to your kids about it. Create a fun, light-hearted ambience around the topic. Explain that resolutions are not burdensome chores but exciting goals for self-improvement. 

New Year's Resolution - An exciting adventure

Involve Your Kids in the Process

From brainstorming resolutions to setting achievable steps, let your kids play an active role. It is, after all, their journey of personal growth. Ask them, "What new year goals for children like you do you think would be exciting to achieve?" or "what new thing or change would be wonderful next year if you did it"?

Positive Changes: Simple Resolution Ideas

Help your kids map out their resolution path. Resolutions depend to some extent on age, but here's a handful of fun, educational resolutions perfect for children:

⦁ Read a new book every month
⦁ Brush teeth twice every day
⦁ Learn a new hobby or skill
⦁ Participate in daily physical activities
⦁ Tidy the bedroom after playing 

Remember that fun and practicality are essential in helping kids with new years resolutions.

New Year's Resolutions - I can do it!

A few more ideas

  1. A Healthy Habits Quest - Try to incorporate resolutions that promote healthy habits. Resolutions around water intake, fruit and veggie consumption, and daily movement might be good to whole-heartedly praise.  Healthy habits bring about physical well-being, mental alertness, and emotional balance.
  2. Emotional Well-being for Kids - Children's self-improvement isn't only about physical or academic aspects. Emotional well-being plays a huge role as well. Spending more time expressing feelings, and appreciating the small things, are other good resolution options. 
  3. Promoting Organizational Skills - Resolutions centred around staying organized can have fascinating ripple effects. Setting aside specific time for homework, organizing their belongings, and creating tidier spaces can be small but impactful goals.
  4. Spreading Caring and Kindness - Goals don't always have to be self-focused. Could they consider goals related to doing something for other people? For instance, trying to perform a weekly act of kindness makes a beautiful resolution.
  5. Family New Year’s Resolutions - Joint family resolutions can be a great way to harmonise the family. These can revolve around spending more time together, cooking more meals at home, or doing some kind of community service or volunteering that helps more vulnerable people. How about making setting New Year resolutions a family tradition? It's a fun, constructive way to begin the year. Plus, your children will likely carry this tradition into adulthood.

Top tips to making the experience positive

Nurturing a Growth Mindset

When children encounter difficulties in pursuing their resolutions, remind them to expect this and it's how they respond in these moments. Can they respond with self-kindness and then after a break get up and go again? Point out that growth comes from the effort of trying. Every failed attempt is vital learning and a step towards success. Becoming more, growing, can be uncomfortable, but it's amazing!

New Year's - Lets do it together

Praise your children's effort and spirit over their achievements. This will help them understand that growth comes from perseverance and hard work. It's about how hard they try, how they encourage themselves, and how they react to the unexpected, and not just about results.

Reassure them that setbacks actually mean they are closer, they're good news. Empower your children by commending their dedication, resilience, and courage in times of difficulty. Remember, the goal is not to avoid the struggle but to learn and grow from it.

Avoiding Comparisons

Everyone is unique and grows at their own pace. Emphasize this to your children as they set their resolutions. Comparing their progress to others might stir sadness and self-criticism. They may start to worry that they are not as good, or capable, and this can cause them to feel stuck. 

Each person moves forward with their own two feet from where they are to where they will be next. Remind them that differences don't matter. The only thing that matters is each person moving forward and growing in their own way. 

Progress Tracker and Celebrating Achievements

Setting up fun platforms to track your child's progress is essential. Whether it's a sticker chart or an online app, let your children physically see how far they've come.

Although gusto and ambition are commendable, remember to guide children to try and progress in a balanced way. It's not about perfection. Knowing when to take breaks and rest is also important and helps renew energy.

New Year's Resolutions - I can do it, so can you

Keeping track means an opportunity to take some time every month to celebrate progress. Big or small, every step towards their resolution is worth recognizing and spurring them onto their next achievement.

Staying Realistic

No resolution should feel like an insurmountable mountain. It's important the goals are realistic and the children feel confident and excited about achieving them.

Changing Resolutions

At times, the resolution initially set might not be working out. If such a situation arises, remind your kids that it's completely okay to replace it with something more suitable. This is part of learning. 

Creative Display

Make a colorful chart or a jar filled with resolution notes. Displaying the resolutions in a creative way makes them more exciting and easier to remember.

The Big Picture

Teach your children that resolutions are not just about personal growth. They are also about creating a positive impact on their surroundings and the world.

Teach your children about the spirit behind resolutions—that it's about embracing the journey, with its ups and downs, and making the most out of every experience.

Sharing personal experiences and resolution journeys creates a more relatable understanding for children. Share your triumphs, struggles, and how you coped with them.

Above all, remind your kids that the purpose behind any resolution is to help us grow, learn and reveal even more of our huge potential. The ultimate goal is self-improvement and life-long happiness.

New Year resolutions for kids are not simply targets to meet. But rather, exciting missions for them to embark upon. Let them inspire each other and behold! A whole world of growth, resilience, and self-improvement awaits! So, let's roll up our sleeves, trek into this wonderful New Year, and begin this unique journey of discovery and growth together!

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