How to Help your Children Make Smart New Year's Resolutions
New year’s is an exciting time for our children. Even though, technically it’s just another day, it feels like a fresh start, an opportunity to set goals from scratch, letting go of all the baggage from the past year. Children absolutely love making resolutions for the coming year, making big plans and promises for themselves. However sometimes these resolutions only look good on paper, they are sometimes so ambitious that they become unrealistic or unachievable. And if that happens, then rather than serving their purpose of motivating our children, they can lead to frustration or disappointment. And we as parents definitely want to avoid that, don’t we?
Here how you can do that. First of all, you need to make sure that the goals your children are setting up for themselves, they are SMART. And by SMART we don’t just mean clever. SMART is an acronym that helps people create targets which can lead to success!
It simply means that firstly, your goals should be Specific. They shouldn’t be too broad and should clearly comminate what exactly are you planning to achieve. For instance, if your child is making resolution that they will become the best student ever, ask them to narrow it down a little. Maybe something like aiming to get an A in Math.
Secondly, the goal should be Measurable, so that your child is able to their progress. For example, a goal like learning to play 5 songs on piano is a better goal than simply stating you plan to play some songs on a piano.
Thirdly, the goal should be Achievable. This might be the most important part of setting a goal. You don’t want your children to be wasting time and effort on a goal which is clearly not possible to attain. For instance, a resolution like “I plan to get full marks in every test through out the year” sounds like a determined goal on paper, however, is something which hardly any student can achieve.
Additionally, the goal should also be Relevant to your children’s current goals. You must make sure that that whatever resolution your child is planning for themselves, it is the right time and place for it. For instance, “I will go on a world tour” might not be relevant to your children in the coming year if they are also planning on doing well in their studies by giving more time to their academics. Also, planning a trip around the world isn’t your child’s responsibility, so it is not relevant to them to be setting a goal like this.
Lastly, the goal must be Time-bound. This is an obvious one, when your child is setting up some goals, make sure that giving themselves a certain period of time to complete it, rather than letting it go on indefinitely.
Following the five steps mentioned above can help your children save the trouble of wasting time on unrealistic or irrelevant goals!
Another very important aspect of setting goals for the new years is the need to reflect on the past one. Now you may say that how is it a fresh start if we are asking our children to not recollect moments from last year. Shouldn’t we focus on the coming year and let go of the previous, when has thinking onto past done good to anyone?
Answer: Everyone! The key is to learn from the past, not hold on to it. Ask you kids to think about what went well in the last year, and what went wrong. What they could have done differently and what was something that they were extremely proud of? This helps them comprehend their journey better, see how they have come from where they began. If you keep their answers stored together everything, this also helps preserve moments which are important to your children and you get a better idea of your kids’ year went. Over the years, it can become a collection of timelines of your children’s lives, something to look back to when they get a bit older.
If you are still confused about how to go about thing, don’t worry! Homeschool Panda has got you. We have designed a fun printable template to help your children come up with resolutions for the next year, all the while reflecting on the past year as well. Download the PDF for FREE now!