New diets. More exercise. A cleaner house. A more robust savings account. These are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions made each year, and with good reason. They’re all worthy goals to strive for! But families can learn to make resolutions together which will strengthen their bond and make their year more fun and more fulfilling. These three resolutions are fun to make and easy to keep.
- Fill your calendar with adventure. Are there local activities your family has been hoping to visit, but you never seem to get around to them? Have you, your partner, or your children expressed interest in new sports, arts endeavors, or musical instruments? Take a look at the year ahead, and make sure that you put certain activities you’ve been longing to do on the calendar, so that you can be sure that you’ll actually do them. Keep a to-do list that illustrates each step you’ll need to take to, say, sign up for ice skating lessons or begin playing the guitar. Sometimes you need to build adventure into your schedule; it doesn’t just happen magically!
- Read together as a family. Studies have shown that many kids begin to lose interest in reading at around age 9 or so. This may be because, while parents often read to their kids when they are toddlers and preschool age, this type of reading activity wanes as kids get older. Your older children, who may be entering grade school and will start to learn to read on their own, will still need some prompting to pick up a book. Continue to read to them from the chapter books they are becoming interested in, or ask them to read to you. As they grow into teenagers, you can designate an hour or so each day to turn off the television and put away electronics so that the family can settle down, each member with a good book.
- Build individual relationships. Family outings are always fun, and alone time can be a necessity, but one-on-one relationships within a nuclear family are often overlooked. Schedule “dates” on which one parent takes one child out for a fun morning or a relaxing afternoon. Each child in your family will grow up to have a special, individual relationship with each of their parents, and this type of one-on-one time can nurture those relationships.
What is your family planning to do in 2018 to strengthen relationships, help each other meet goals, or have more fun together? Let us know what your family’s new year’s resolutions are in the comments section.