Friday, 2nd June 2023

Help your kids make New Year resolutions

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
05 January 2019   |   4:17 am
Last year, my daughter saw me scribbling fast on my notepad and wanted to know what I was up to. I told her about my New Year resolutions and she was interested...

Last year, my daughter saw me scribbling fast on my notepad and wanted to know what I was up to. I told her about my New Year resolutions and she was interested in writing hers, said Rita Bada, lead speaker for a teens-based outfit called Riospeaks.

“So, together, we embarked on a project of writing her New Year resolutions. She wrote down things she wanted to accomplish the next year and how to accomplish them. So far, she did accomplish most of them and I am glad we did it together.”

According to history, the ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year resolutions, some 4000 years ago. New Year resolutions have to do with making goals that we want to carry out in a new year. In summary, they are promises we make in order to live a better life. It is not enough to make resolutions. We must state the objectives of that goal.

The foremost teen coach stressed that children are certainly not left out, “I believe that great things start with small beginnings and as such children should be encouraged to start now so that as they grow older, it becomes a part of them. There is no better time than now to teach your children why and when they should write their New Year resolutions. From an early age, it teaches them to be purpose driven, focused and goal-oriented. This goes with them as they grow into adulthood.

Bada noted that when her daughter wrote down her resolutions, she pasted it on the wall and it was a constant reminder of what she was supposed to do from time to time. It guarded her daily actions because she had a column where she ticked done after she had accomplished any, and where she missed one she tried to make up for it. This really helped her to understand the importance of goal- setting.

It is important that parents guide their children in making New Year resolutions by intentionally having a simple conversation about it and then help them put it into writing with colourful descriptions and pictures. An example is, if the goal is to live a healthier life, then state when and how many times, snacks is taken to school in a week.

Here are five simple tips to help you and your child in keeping your New Year resolution.

Be Realistic: When setting New Year resolutions, be realistic. Do not set goals you know your child cannot attain. Make smart (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals.

Outline your plan: After you must have decided on the goal, it is important that you outline steps that will help in achieving that goal. For example, if your child wants to be the best in his class, then there is a need to draw up a personal timetable and reduce TV time or time spent on social media.

Track your progress: It is important to have an assessment tool. Find a way of measuring your child’s success from time to time. You might need to talk to his teacher about his performance, constantly review homework together and find better ways to improve.

Celebrate small wins: There is a need to constantly reward your child when you see improvements especially in the achievement of their New Year resolutions. Get a small gift or take him out. This will further boost his morale to do more and stay motivated.

Stick to it: Sometimes, it’s easy for children to lose focus. It is our duty as parents to guide them through the process of achieving their New Year resolutions by encouraging them always.

Bada noted that children should be allowed to make age appropriate resolutions; an example is you cannot expect your five-year old to wash the toilet, but you can expect him to tidy his room by making sure all his toys are neatly kept away. “I want to urge every parent out there to remember that when it comes to resolution, it is important to lead by example.”

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