As you well know, your little ones love to mimic you and learn through doing. If they saw you writing down your New Year’s resolutions, they may want to make their own list for the year. While your kids’ list may not include sticking to a gym routine or adding more to a 401k, they can still set meaningful goals that will help them grow in the new year.
While it’s estimated that 80% of adults don’t stick with their resolutions through February, your little ones can have more success with some careful planning. When helping your kids set New Year’s resolutions, a few guiding questions can aid them in making resolutions that’ll last.
1. Why do you want to change?
When helping your child choose their New Year’s resolutions, start by asking what they want to change in the new year. When kids choose goals to please others, there is very little self-motivation involved. Make sure that they are choosing a goal they want for themselves instead of something that you or their teachers want for them. If they truly want to make the change, they’ll be much more likely to achieve their goal this year.
2. What are the steps to get there?
Often, kids want to change immediately, and expect it to come easily. Make sure to hone in on what your child wants to change and the steps that are necessary to get there. Creating small goals as building blocks to their larger resolutions is the best way to give them little boosts of accomplishments to keep them on track. Once you have their benchmarks finalized, make a chart on an easel so they can cross things off as they achieve the smaller goals.
3. Are you setting the goal too high?
When talking about New Year’s resolutions with your little ones, make sure that they are setting realistic and attainable goals. If they want to be the star player of their soccer league, you may want to encourage them to simply do better every new game than they did the one before. Help your child to focus on goals they can achieve, not ones that may be setting them up for failure.
4. How can others help you meet your goals?
When you are talking with your child about their New Year’s resolution, make sure to ask how you can help facilitate to help them meet their goals. Tell them that they don’t need to tackle their resolution alone, which will give them the courage to ask for help when necessary. Teaching your kids to reach out to others for help and accept help when it is given is an important lesson that’ll stick with them throughout their lives.
5. Do you want to create a contract?
There is a difference between talking about making a change and actually following through with it. Once your little one has their main goals set and smaller benchmarks set up, make things official. Draw up a “contract” and create a reward system for staying on track, and you will be surprised at the change your child is capable of. While your child will likely be able to motivate themselves to achieve their goal, a piece of candy or small stuffed animal when they reach a benchmark never hurts!
Teaching your child early on to make commitments and follow through with them will help them throughout school and their careers. These tips will help your child set actionable, meaningful New Year’s resolutions – and you can use the list to make your own resolutions, too!
Whether your child’s resolutions include getting all As or picking up a new sport, Step2 has what you need to get started. Browse our selection of toys today!