New Year’s resolutions are a beautiful way to improve yourself and, at the same time, a revelation of when you are your own worst enemy. When you’re a parent, accomplishing goals you’ve set for yourself can be a great example to your children. Kids are bound to learn the slippery slope of failure or the uphill climb of accomplishment when they are watching your experiences first-hand. This year, make the part of sticking to difficult work visible when you are developing a better you with our suggestions for involving your kids in your resolutions.
Ways you can be an example:
Ask your kids for their help! They will feel valued. It can be simple: Counting your reps or charting your progress. When you’re working on your resolution, get your kids in the action. Your kids will love celebrating your successes with you.
Discuss the challenges and progress of your work. You’re actually teaching your kids that there’s a process to attaining a goal and that it isn’t supposed to be easy.
Ask your kids to come up with a goal for you. I’ve used this one and they generally think of one that has a positive effect for themselves! Win-win.
Brainstorm together. Have your kids help you think about things that you want to accomplish or challenges that you need to overcome.
For older kids who can accomplish their own resolutions:
Create resolution journals. I bought thin, blank journals. On the first page, my kids wrote down their goals and then we spent time discussing our plan for the first month. At the end of January we will reflect on what progress we have made in our journals. Having a record helps us review our progress and gives us inspiration.
Teach your kids about growth mindset! When you or they have a set back, talk about getting on track or working through that failure.
Regularly ask your kids what you can do to help them achieve their goals. They will need support and they may not always ask on their own. Show up and cheer them on whenever you can.
With all of these ideas, you’re giving your kids tools to be motivated and to enjoy the process of self improvement. 2020 can be your year and theirs, too.
Mariko is a high school English teacher who has three children, illegible handwriting and an obsession with mail-order artisan ice cream. She lives in Hawaii, but she makes a point to eat her way through big cities as often as she can.