The child development specialists at Celebree School provide simple ways to celebrate the New Year and help your child set goals for a successful future.
For many of us, a new year signals an opportunity to start afresh and set new goals for ourselves, but New Year resolutions can also serve as teaching moments for our children to learn the value of making goals.
Goal-setting teaches children to be responsible and perseverant. It gives them a sense of purpose because they have something to look forward to. This boosts their self-esteem and self-awareness and equips them with important life skills such as focus, decision-making, planning, time management, organization, and communication all of which support independence. Having goals early on also prepares children to navigate life’s challenges.
The best way to start is to make new year’s resolutions a family affair. As parents, we are our children’s role models, so we should be leading by example at all times. This activity will encourage your children to try out new things and form new habits, not to mention that it can be a fun and exciting way to strengthen family bonds.
When setting out new year’s resolutions, allow your children to decide on their own. Ask them what they want to accomplish this year. Children have such wild imagination so pay attention as they share their ideas with you and help them reflect on why they want to create that goal to be able to define it much better. Then filter out what is doable or not.
Parents must ensure that a goal is age-appropriate and SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. It should be something nice and easy that they are really excited about. If a goal is too difficult for their age or too broad, children may find it hard to achieve leaving them frustrated or disheartened. This may also pose the idea that goal-setting is not worthwhile at all.
After coming up with their resolutions, you want your children to stick to their plan of action for the time frame that they have set for themselves. However, it is possible for them to lose interest at some point. Having your children track their progress can be an effective approach to keep them motivated. You may use a tracking board, an app, or be as creative as you can. Whatever it is, having a visual representation of how your children’s efforts contribute to success will help them understand why and how they have succeeded or failed in hitting the goal that they have set.
Teaming up with your children’s school is a plus. Talking to their teachers and getting them involved in the activity can keep your children motivated not just at home but also in school. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child, so the more supportive the community is, the more they will flourish in life. A child learning center like Celebree School, for example, which has programs from infant to school-age, serves as an extension of the home and takes an active role in helping families raise independent, thoughtful children who are excited about learning.
One thing to keep in mind about the new year’s resolutions journey as a family activity is to focus on the positives. We all know the value of appreciation and support. Praise inspires and nurtures. Children know and take pleasure in this too. While keeping tabs on your children’s progress, refrain from imposing punishments for mistakes. Instead, take the time to acknowledge their efforts and accomplishments while also touching on areas that need more attention. After all, it’s supposed to be a bonding activity for the family. What matters is your children are learning from you that new years are a great time to work on personal growth.