Here we are at the beginning of a new year. What resolutions have you made? Despite all the failed resolutions I’ve made over the years, I feel particularly inspired this year. Yes, January 1st is just another day, but I’m choosing to see the new year as a fresh start.
I’ve decided that many of my former resolutions failed because they weren’t specific enough. This year, I decided to forgo the usuals: exercise more, lose weight, be healthy. This year, I’m being specific. I’m giving up soda. Completely. Cold turkey. I’m doing it primarily because it’s a healthy thing to do, but I also hope that I’ll shed a few pounds.
While making healthy choices is important, the new year also gives us a chance to make new parenting resolutions. It’s a great time to take stock, reset our goals and make sure we’re on track.
So in the spirit of the new year and the fresh start it affords, consider the following:
Evaluate your schedule. Is it still working? If you’re having a hard time sticking with it, pare it down.
Take stock of your child’s freedoms. Does he have too many? Too few? His freedoms should grow, not as he ages, but as he shows more responsibility.
Revise your discipline plan. Make sure your child’s most chronic behaviors are at the top of the list. Add new ones as you tackle the old ones.
Pledge to do couch time. Make your marriage a priority. Set a specific day, time and place. Be realistic and shoot for three nights a week if you can’t do five.
Evaluate your attitude. Are you encouraging your child enough? Correction must be balanced by encouragement.
Vow to be consistent. Nobody’s perfect. We all slip sometimes. Just remember this: Say what you mean. Mean what you say.
Have fun. While our job as parents is to train and teach our children, we can’t forget to live in the moment. Play and be silly with your child. Before you know it, your toddler will be in preschool, your preschooler in elementary school and your teenager in college.
Here’s to a fresh start and a fruitful 2011! Happy New Year!