Help Your Kids Make New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions help parents teach children how to make changes in their lives and pursue positive goals. To make any new year’s resolution for kids enjoyable and rewarding, however, you need to plan a little. The results are well worth the effort, so next when January 1st rolls around, grab some pencils and paper and help your child create her own resolutions with these practical tips.


Be a Role Model

Before you encourage your child to make resolutions, you’re going to need to practice what you preach. If you’re willing to make and achieve your own resolutions, then children will be more interested in making their own.


Make New Year’s resolutions a family affair. Have everyone set their own goals, and discuss what you’d like to achieve as a family in the coming year. Working together towards a common goal can really bring a family together, and helps teach children the skills they need to set their own goals.


Keep it Simple, Keep it Positive

A New Year’s resolution for kids should challenge children, but be simple enough to attain. Guide children towards concrete goals that can be broken down into small steps. For instance, “I will keep my room clean” is a great idea, but a little vague. Instead, suggest several steps the child can attain to keep her room clean, such as:


  • I will make my bed every day.
  • I will spend fifteen minutes putting away toys every evening
  • I will put my dirty clothes in the clothes hamper
  • I will help put clean clothes in my drawers
  • I will vacuum my floor once a week.


These are all every concrete goals, and easy to track. For large resolutions, children can add an extra step each week. Resolutions should also be positive. “I will say please and thank you,” is much more positive (and specific) than “I won’t be rude.” Make resolutions something the child will do, not something she won’t or shouldn’t.


Suggest and Guide

A New Year’s resolution is a personal matter, and as such, your child should have some say in what her goal is. You can guide her, make suggestions, and help her shape her goal into an actionable plan, but she should be the one who decides on the nature of her resolution.


Track Goals

Adults often have a hard time sticking to New Year’s resolutions, and it’s likely children will as well without some means of monitoring their progress. Adding stickers to a calendar helps kids track their resolutions and gives them a sense of accomplishment. Be sure to praise and acknowledge steps towards the resolution, especially when initiated by the child.


Resolutions are a way to grow as individuals and as a family. Keep the mood light, emphasize the positive, and make helping each other attain goals as much fun as possible.


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