I’m not a huge fan of new year’s resolutions. I know very few people who’ve actually followed through with them, but I do believe that setting goals is a great way to start off 2017 because goals can be measured.
Here’s a list of worthy goals that every parent can strive for, and easily track.
- Eat At Least ___ Dinners Together Each Week. I’ll let you set the number. The important thing is intentionality and consistency.
- Have one (or more) purely fun family outings each month. Again, the number could vary and it might be every other month, but just be sure it’s on the calendar in ink.
- Say goodnight to your kids (and kiss them if they’ll let you.) Of course there will be some nights when you’re not home at bedtime, but when you are, make a point of hugging them goodnight or tucking them in. Don’t just shoo them off to bed, ever.
- Take a picture every week or month of your child doing something. Then save it somewhere besides your phone. You will want it years from now.
- Serve someone every quarter. Whether you work in a homeless shelter, mow a neighbor’s yard, or take food to a shut-in, find some way to serve others with your children. This is such an awesome way to stretch their heart to include others. Put it on your calendar!
- Do a physical activity with your child once a week. It could be as simple as taking a walk or going for a bike ride.
- Read a book with your child. For younger children, this should be a nightly thing, but don’t let this wonderful habit get shoved aside as your child grows up. Spend a few minutes at least a couple of times a week, reading a book with them. As they get older, they will do more of the reading out loud. Let them pick the book. Hang on to this as long as you can!
- Limit screen time. How much is your choice, but pick something and stick to it! This includes video games, computer, etc. And for children with phones, it will require extra involvement. Put all the phones in the center of the table while you are eating or confiscate the phones when it’s bedtime.
- Put an end to your work day. When you come home from work, be all there for your kids. Don’t be on the phone or computer the entire time you are home. Set a cut-off time and stick to it. If you have more work to do, wait until they go to bed.
- Establish Core Values. I believe it’s important for every family to have core values. They will guide family decisions and direction. Post them on the fridge or somewhere where they are very visible to every member of the family.
The new year doesn’t have to be totally unknown. Set your goals, keep track of their progress and enjoy all that 2017 will bring!
Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called jbmthinks.com. Her new booklet 11 Habits for Healthy and Positive Sports Parents is available on Amazon.