By Julie Diamond
With the announcements of more COVID closures across many provinces, this new year doesn’t seem like it’ll be very different from the last two. Nevertheless, a new year can bring about excitement, opportunity, and create some much-needed positivity. Setting goals can be a great way to teach your child about persistence, self-discipline, and planning. As adults we know how rewarding it can feel to achieve a goal so it can be a fun thing to do together as a family to motivate one another. Here are some tips to keep in mind when making resolutions together:
1. Lead by Example: Your child is always watching so lead by example and create resolutions with them in mind. If you find yourself checking your phone when you’re spending time with them, consider making it a goal to turn off your phone during family time. Or create a goal with health in mind like you’ll learn a new sport or do home workouts with your family. Ask your child to remind you of these goals and you can remind them of theirs to keep each other accountable.
2. Create Individual & Family Goals: You could create resolutions as a family such as, spending one evening a week together playing board games, going on a family hike every Sunday, or not eating unhealthy food on weeknights. Discuss this past year and what each of you have learned. Maybe they learned how to ride a bicycle or play a challenging song on the piano or completed a big puzzle on their own. Maybe you made a new friend at work or tried something new. Then have everyone think about some things they’d like to be able to learn or do by the end of this year. You can suggest some but it’s best not to dictate goals for them. It’s important that they create these goals themselves so they are motivated to achieve them.
3. Different Resolutions for Different Ages: Guide your child in creating goals that are specific and tangible. Goals such as ‘I want to go to Antarctica’ or ‘I want to have a million dollars’ isn’t really feasible for a 9-year-old who doesn’t have a job or a bank account. Here are some examples of goals for different age groups:
For ages 3-7:
For ages 8-12:
3. Monthly Check ins: Don’t fixate on lapses – they will happen for you and them. To avoid nagging each other, put the resolutions up on the wall as a gentle reminder for everyone and do a monthly check in. If you or your child isn’t making progress, explain how hard it is to stick to a goal then discuss how to get motivated again. Discuss what may be standing in your or their way and adjust the goal if need be.
Did you create 2022 goals with your child? Share in the comments below.
Julie Diamond is a certified teacher in Canada and the founder of Teachers to Go.