One of the good and apt New Year resolution quotes for preschoolers is, “This New Year my wish for you is to give you wings of imagination that spread far and wide to make you think out of the box.” This is all the more relevant as often adults typically think about New Year’s resolutions as goals for themselves and they usually involve fitness and health. As parents we need to rethink resolutions, especially when it comes to preschoolers. A New Year’s resolution list is a great way to set realistic goals for kids and practise these important skills together.
It’s a great way to teach kids about determination, goal setting and personal improvement. You will have to keep track of these resolutions as children with their short attention spans easily forget and it’s up to you to ensure that they are actually developing the good habits that they have decided on. New Year resolutions aren’t just for personal improvement, they enrich your family life and your kid’s understanding of themselves and can actually be fun. There are a few tips you could follow when you are setting your age-appropriate goals with your children that will set you and your preschooler up for success.
What is New Year Resolution
You could think about New Year’s resolutions as a way to look at behaviours you want to become habits, an opportunity for the family to work as a team and a fun opportunity to see what your kid would like to do in the New Year.
For it to be successful, make sure these are practical, age appropriate and achievable resolutions and that everyone and that everyone is excited about it. There has to be some level of independence in choosing the resolution and ensuring they are positive as it is something we should be doing rather than avoiding.
Resolutions should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely otherwise kids will try to avoid them.
Some Ideas for New Year Resolutions for Kids
Preschoolers may have trouble sticking to long-term goals so a few small goals to work on every day is a good strategy for them. You could put up a sticker chart on the refrigerator to help them keep track of their resolutions. It may be a good idea to plan a reward if they’re successful.
- One random act of kindness per day.
- Making sure to thank someone every day for doing something nice for you.
- Learning a new word every day.
- Starting a family activity together
- Reframing a negative thought every day.
- Spend less screen time and time on social media.
- Using less plastic and being more eco-friendly.
- Tidy up toys after playing with them.
- Brush my teeth regularly.
- Washing hands regularly after going to the bathroom and before eating.
- Try all the food on the plate, even if it’s just one bite.
- Working on letters and numbers for at least 5 minutes every day.
Ways To Help Kids Set And Achieve New Year Resolutions
- Sit down with your kid and write down the resolutions so that they are not forgotten. Keep the New Year’s resolution list safely and leave enough room on it to add notes as the year passes.
- Lead by example because if you aren’t going to follow through with your resolutions, your child is not going to either. Looking at you stick to your resolution, your child will understand and learn about accountability and why goals matter and that it’s possible to achieve them.
- Resolutions just need to be positive. They don’t necessarily have to be about turning something negative into something positive, they can be about building on skills that are already there. For example, if your child has just started learning to sing you can set a resolution to practise every day or work towards a particular song. This way they are improving on what’s already there and will promote a positive outlook towards building new skills rather than feeling they have to improve themselves.
- It’s always better to make suggestions rather than give orders. Your kid is more likely to do something they have chosen rather than something that has been decided for them. You will have to offer some guidance, so try suggesting things based on what interests them and what they findfun.
- Set smaller goals that may eventually achieve bigger things. Vague goals don’t help, there needs to be a plan behind it. Set a goal like limiting screen time and other easily achievable goals that can eventually lead to healthier lifestyle choices.
- Resolutions need to be age appropriate. What works for an older child may not work for a preschooler. For a preschooler, set resolutions about personal hygiene in your child — I will brush my teeth twice a day or I will wash my hands before eating and after going to the bathroom. Resolutions for preschoolers should also encourage family participation or promote kind behaviour towards others.
- With resolutions there are never failures, only setbacks. Life can get chaotic and things may go haywire but one shouldn’t give up. Kids should be encouraged to continue with their resolutions even if they have difficulty in adhering to them. They should be made to realise it’s a temporary setback which allows space for further improvement. Forgiving ourselves for slipping up and recovering smoothly teaches kids good problem-solving strategies too. Cognitive reframing is helpful in achieving goals in the future and inculcates determination and perseverance.
- Periodically check the sheet you made at the beginning of the year and see what resolutions were achieved and what needs to be improved to achieve them next month. Recognise the barriers that are stopping your kid from achieving their resolutions.
Fun Ways to Display Resolutions
Everyone could write out their resolution and post it in a place where it can be seen every day as it serves as a great reminder. Jars can be used to keep track of how many times the resolutions were achieved by putting a stone or bead in the jar. A family competition of how many days in a row the resolution was achieved can be both motivating and exciting.
New Year’s resolutions are a great way to develop good habits and keep improving and offer a long term goal for your children. This is a great and practical life skill for both you and your kid. It is extremely important to sit down and decide this as a family with the kids are given the opportunity to make their own resolutions. Even the most realistic and well planned resolutions don’t always pan out as we want but that is a good opportunity to teach your child about flexibility. It’s important for them to learn how to adapt when this happens and it helps in building resilience. Every disappointment can be made into a teachable moment and help your child to achieve their New Year resolution. For more information and ideas about New Year resolutions for preschoolers, do check in with the EuroKids website.