Family New Year’s Resolutions

Family New Year's ResolutionsYou may or may not have personal commitments that you want to set but for most of us there are some things in our family lives that could use some work.  Even when everything seems perfect, with kids that are growing and changing constantly, this year’s perfect can turn into next year’s disaster if you don’t continue to evolve.  I decided this year to start a family set of resolutions.  As a mom I really want my daughter to have an input on the direction of our family and know that although I expect some things from her, that she should equally expect some things from me.  Overall it does something that is paramount, get the communication flowing.  I have yet to meet the perfect parent or child but in making a commitment to work on the things we want to see in our family lives we can move closer to the picture we have of what a good family is.

Family resolutions call for action from all members of the family.  It’s amazing what can happen what can when we try to reach a result by giving something.  We all have been kids before and just think back to how we felt when our parents made us clean our room when they barely cleaned their room.  The reciprocity concept with kids not only gives them some incentive to do what we ultimately want them to do, it also lets them know that household rules apply to them but not to you.  My daughter can stay out to wee hours of the morning if I allow her and then she does not want to wake up on the weekends until very late.  By making a family commitment to wake up early, and knowing how much sleep she likes, it quickly translates to going to bed early to assist in achieving our family goal of waking up earlier.

Additionally in coming up with family resolutions, the lifelong skill of negotiations quickly come into play.  I suggest giving them the opportunity to make a list of the things that they would like to change.  They are still kids so frankly some of their requests may be ridiculous but going through everyone’s list together.   But putting everything on the table (with a couple of ridiculous requests of your own may help them start to gain the insight on what is practical from you and from then.  Once everyone states what they want you can begin to dwindle and refine the list into what should be the family resolutions for the year.

Finally, family resolutions, even if you goals are never reached, open up the door of communications.  Teaching your kids to share with you the things they want and what they see as wrong in the family set the foundation that they can share how they feel, good, bad, or ugly, and that their parents will be open to listening to them.  When I asked my daughter about the resolutions she would like she said she would like to spend more time outside.  Honestly, before this I could not say I thought it was something she wanted and knowing her opinion helps me plan on the events that she and I do together because I know what is important to her.

Setting family resolutions in short can help you build your team through jointly achieving goals, but if nothing else it ensures everyone in the family has a say in the direction your family heads in.

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