Another year has ended and a new one is beginning. The new year is a great time to look over the past year and see the places in your life that you’d like to make some changes. As a family, you can make some positive changes that will impact everyone, young and old! Here are some ideas of resolutions you could make together as a family along with some useful links that can help you make them happen!
- More family dinners. – Eating together as a family is one of the best ways to spend time together and stay connected, but it is not always easy. Many families are over-scheduled and since so many things must be squeezed into so few hours, the “sit-down” dinner often gets bumped. If you’ve noticed this in your family, make it a point in the new year to schedule family dinners. The Family Dinner Project is a website that provides recipes, fun ideas and other resources to help you get the ball rolling. Statistics have shown that doing so leads to happier and healthier families.
- Say “no” to the hectic schedule. – Running from one activity to the next can be stressful for everyone. For the new year, make the decision to cut out some of the activities that have you running around every evening and weekend. Like everything else, extra-curricular activities are great in moderation. Give yourself permission to be protective of your evenings and weekends. Everyone needs downtime once in a while.
- Unplug! – We all know how screens of every size have taken over our lives. From T.V.s and video games to smartphones and tablets, more and more of our entertainment is being fed to us through a flashing screen. Make a promise to put the screens away on a regular basis and have some fun the old-fashioned way. There are lots of things you can do as a family that
don’tinvolve a screen. You can read, color, do a jigsaw puzzle, have a family game night, go for a walk, and so much more. Show your children how much fun they can have without a screen!
- Share the chores. – Getting everyone involved in chores around the house has many benefits, not the least of which is teaching children age-appropriate responsibilities that will benefit them in the future. The Cozi Family Organizer website shares some chore lists for the different ages to get you started. There are a variety of systems out there for getting kids involved in chores. Do a little research to find a system that will work for your family.
- Do something nice together. – Reminding children (and ourselves) to be kind to others is something that should be done year round, but start a new habit for the year that helps everyone to be more intentional about it. Talk about random acts of kindness and encourage your children to find ways to do them. Schedule some service opportunities that you can do together as a family. The Doing Good Together website has resources available to help you find ways to volunteer as a family. Let your children see that they really can make an impact on the world around them.
- Save money. – The grown-ups might have their own resolutions related to finance but teaching children good money habits from a young age is important. Show your children the benefit of saving money. Save your spare change for a special family outing or if your child has something special they’d they’d like to buy, encourage them to save up for it. Use a glass jar instead of a piggy bank so that they will be able to see the money accumulating. Financial expert Dave Ramsey shares this and other money management tips for children of all ages on his website.
Pick a couple of these resolutions to focus on when you flip the calendar to 2019. Not only will you create some positive change for you and your family, but you can also start some traditions your children can pass down to theirs someday.