Lose weight, budget better, eat healthier…sound familiar? Those are common New Years resolutions made by adults. I have to admit that I am bad at resolutions. I eat healthy, exercise and budget well, so I had a hard time trying to find a resolution and another attempt to focus on doing better for 2015. Then it hit me that I can take 2015 and use it to help my youngest focus on goals. We both can benefit from some New Years resolutions for kids. So I started making a list and narrowed it down to 5. I may only pick one or two of these to make a year long focus with a 6 year old reasonable, but you can choose all or some of your own.
Read every night
Most schools ask that you do this anyway, but do you realize how many times in a school year your child is pulled and tested? If you are out of sync with what happens in the classroom, then just ask your child’s teacher. It is crazy how much class time is used up each year with preparation and testing and more testing. If you make reading every night a consistent activity, your child’s teacher will see that! I promise that those teachers know the kids that read every night versus the ones that don’t and they can get it near right every time. If you are consistent at home and your child’s teacher sees that, they will be paid attention to in a way that those teachers can spot any inconsistencies and bring them to your attention as well. “Kids that read will become adults that think” We read 20 minutes every night and I will continue that in 2015.
Who mails letters anymore? Your kids can. The reason why I thought of this is there are many benefits for your child to sit and write or draw letters to friends and family. Keeping a calendar of loved ones birthdays and holidays teaches them time and months. Celebrating someones day by sending love teaches compassion. Writing and drawing are great fine motor and education-based practice and the creativity is turned on as well. Is it brother or sister’s birthday? Drop the letter in a blue post box in town and the recipient will get that mail in a day or two. Stop by the post office-they have many books of stamps your child can choose and sometimes there are fun ones. We got dome Rudolph stamp books over the holidays. So much fun and it will brighten many loved ones days throughout the year!
Donate a toy a month
If your are like me, you often stand in your child’s bedroom and toy room and wonder where in the world all this ‘stuff’ came from! Every month, have your child pick one toy that have not been playing with and on a day you are running errands, drop it at a donation site. Compassion, service and clearing clutter will be the benefit of this monthly action. Stop for ice cream and praise them for donating to others.
You may be constantly looking for someone to take your child off your hands while you run errands. You may always be toting your child around and get in “I want” battles or they hesitate having to run around with you. Now I mention a date day? Don’t we have them with us all day anyway? It is not special if it is not intentional. This is great for working Mom’s and Dad’s and Mom and Dad should each choose a separate night or day a month. Get dressed up and even if the date is to McDonald’s and a walk, it will be special and a night you can plan together and give them time to be excited about it. We all are busy and we are together without intentions. This is a great way to teach our children to just stop and pay attention to those around us. Besides, when Dad takes the kids to a movie or dinner, Mom gets some free time and vice versa.
30-minute active play a day
This does not mean you can skip this on a PE day at school! This is a chance to turn off all electronics and just play! It has to be active play and preferably outside if weather allows. I find the best time for this is right before dinner. It occupies them at a time you need to get dinner ready and at a time the kids tend to start getting hungry and a bit bored waiting and smelling their dinner cooking. Grab their coats and send them out or bring out the sheets for a fort building session. The rule-no electronics, TV or anything with an on/of switch and no sitting-always moving!
Do you have other ideas? I’d love to hear them!