New Year's Resolutions for Kids

New Year's resolutions for kids are a great way to give your children a head start in the coming year. It's never too early for New Year's resolutions to be implemented in your home or school, so don't be shy about suggesting them. Goal setting is a good way for a child to learn responsibility.

Don't Force Resolutions
Suggest ideas of what you feel a good goal for your child might be, but ultimately allow her to decide her own goals. At the same time, make sure the goals are both reasonable and attainable. For instance, you may want your child to learn to share, but your child may be much more interested in doing something entirely different, such as helping you in some way. Never discourage a child who is interested in helping. It's just a matter of time before she moves from helping others to learning to share with others.

Tips for Setting and Keeping Kids' Resolutions
Before a child can set New Year's resolutions and goals, the child must be old enough to grasp the concept of time. By the time a child is in kindergarten or first grade, he has a fairly good grasp on things such as the passage of time and should be able to grasp the reasoning behind setting New Year's resolutions.

Make a resolution chart and turn it into a game. Allow your child time every evening before bed to mark off the areas in which she remembered her New Year's resolution and followed through. You may also want to set up a reward system to go along with the New Year's resolution chart.

Some simple New Year's resolutions that work well for elementary age children include:

  1. Picking up after himself. Children have short attention spans and often have a difficult time picking up after themselves without being told. This is a good goal for your child to work toward.
  2. Helping others. If your child has a sibling, this New Year's resolution will fit perfectly with your family. Encourage the child to help around the house, or to help the sibling with everyday things.
  3. Sharing and getting along with other children. This is an area that is often difficult for young children. Remember to praise your child when she does share and play nicely. 

As your child matures, his resolutions and goals will change accordingly. If there are goals your child needs to work toward, don't be shy about adding them to the chart. But don't forget to allow your child to set a few goals on his own. Allowing him to make some decisions will encourage him to form some of his own ideas about how he handles his life. Knowing you are there to guide him and support his decisions will give him a good solid family foundation.

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