January 1, 2018
Traditionally, the new year offers an opportunity to make a fresh start. Resolutions are filled with promise, particularly for things we know we should be doing anyway. Unfortunately, even the best intentions fall by the wayside within a relatively short amount of time.
This year, skip all that individual pressure and try making some New Year’s resolutions as a family. Not only are you more likely to succeed as a group, family resolutions will bring you all closer together while also providing additional benefits to each member of the household.
Here are three of the best family resolutions you can make in 2018:
1.) Gratitude Games:
As a parent, one of the first things we teach our children is to say, “thank you.” Being able to feel and express gratitude is also one of the great hallmarks of happiness. Set a resolution with your family that being thankful will be a primary focus this year. You can even make a game out of it!
For example, set a large empty vase in the living room or kitchen, along with some small squares of blank paper and a pen. Throughout the days and weeks, get in the habit of writing down things you appreciate. You may write about things, people, events, helpful gestures, or anything at all! The more, the better! Set goals with “prizes” for the family as the vase gets filled. Depending on the size of the vase, the goals might be anything from a night out at the mall, to a trip to Disney at the end of the year!
2.) Family Meals:
According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, eating regular family meals makes your children significantly less likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or do drugs. Research also shows that children who eat with their family perform better in school. Eating at home is also less expensive than eating out, and provides a connecting point for everyone in the midst of the hectic day-to-day grind.If family dinner every day is simply impossible due to work or school schedules, schedule family breakfast. Nothing starts the day off better than a big stack of pancakes or fresh fruit and homemade granola parfaits!
3.) Technology-Free Days:
If you have kids, you may be wondering how on earth you will get them away from their electronics for a whole day. Here’s the truth: It’s usually harder for adults to “unplug” than it is for their children! The key is to find things to do as a family that keep the kids’ boredom at bay while also helping you
forget why you might be glued to your smartphone and computer.
Aim for at least one day per week when everyone in the family will set aside their phones, tablets, computers, handheld games, televisio
n, and other electronics. Have some fun scheduling fun activities to do instead! Plan a game night, start a family reading club or find a crafty new hobby you can all enjoy. Pottery painting is an excellent family activity that is fun to do and inexpensive enough to do on a regular basis. Give it a try!