New Year's Day is a great time to set about making resolutions for the next year. It is also a time to look back at the year gone by and feel proud of the goals that have been achieved and understand why some resolutions were not fulfilled. Such reminiscing is not limited to adults and should also be extended to children. They need to set realistic goals and work towards them in the coming year. It helps develop their sense of self-esteem and confidence. The goal-setting process is just as important as the act of achieving the goal itself.
The setting of a New Year's Resolution is a great opportunity for a teachable moment. Whether or not your child can achieve their goal, some sense of importance must be given to their process. Failure and success are two sides of the same coin – something your child will have to understand at some point in life. Even if your child was able to stick to their resolution for a day, a week or even months, credit should be given to them for trying their best. It is at times like these, that conversations about goal setting, time management and motivation become important.
Your child's New Year's Resolutions shouldn't be influenced by what YOUR goals for them are. It should come from a personal sense of development that they hope to achieve. Help them keep their goals simple and specific. A blanket goal like "I want to do better in school" can be replaced with a more specific option such as "I want to get better grades in Maths and English". Being specific improves the chances of your child maintaining focus on smaller goals rather than feeling overwhelmed.
If you feel your child is not ready to take on a resolution on their own, try turning it into a family resolution. It can be something as simple as "This year, we (the family) want to eat less sugary snacks and candies. This is a great example of a goal the family can take up together and help keep each other in check. Sometimes children feel goals are unattainable or impossible. It's at times like these that it helps to know that their parents or siblings are in the same boat as them. As a family, you can cheer each other on and be role models for each other's resolutions.