Parenting resolutions in 2017

With the turning of a new year, comes the hopes of creating and conquering new goals in 2017. Aside from the popular resolutions such as, “exercise more”, parents have the choice to be better parents. While there is no “perfect parent”, but we can all strive to make positive changes by creating new resolutions in parenting. I am hoping you will commit to 3-5 of these resolutions.

Don’t say don’t. This means you will have to grasp the task of rephrasing. Instead of saying, “Don’t hit your sister,” you consider an alternative phrase such as, “Please be kind and love one another.” Negative reminder seldom works. I would also add the word “can’t” as we teach our children that the use of can’t means you are giving up a chance on something could be really great. It’s a tough word not to use, but creates a positive sense of self confidence when a child or parent realizes the CAN!

Learn a new language. Our nation is comprised of many different cultures and languages. When we learn a new language, we learn a new culture. You can learn this through song, dance, games, play, writing and speaking.

Commit to clean. Get everyone helping around the house. Resolve that this year will be the year you stop doing all the heavy lifting with the housework! Each of your children should be required to shoulder some age-appropriate, meaningful responsibilities that contribute to the family’s daily life

Exercise as a family. Find ways that the family can get out and exercise in fun ways, even if there are non-athletes in your family. Parents.com suggests these simple activities: bike rides, walking, scavenger hunts, silly relay races, and dance contests.

Leave work at work! It’s time to clock out at work, and clock in with your family. This means not answering phone calls and text messages from co-workers. It’s your children’s turn to have the attention.

Create and/or reinvent routines. Stick to the routines that work, but make adjustments to those that don’t. Reevaluate your trouble areas and find new ways to conquer them. A $4 hamper can eliminate the stress of a child who does not like to pick their clothes.

Show some love…for your spouse! By being kind, attentive and loving to your spouse, you are showing your children about healthy, positive relationships. This will help your children feel secure, confident and blessed.

One-on-one. Take time each day, even if for 10 minutes, to spend one-on-one time with each child. Positive Parenting Solutions notes that this will “build emotional connections, reduce negative behaviors, and makes children more cooperative throughout the day.” Be fully present and ensure there are no distractions.

Have patience. Easier said than done, but patience is key to help children grow and develop into independent individuals. Having a son with ADHD, my patience is continually challenged but have learned that we have far greater achievement, if my patience (and his too) stays intact.

We want to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year, filled with goals, accomplishments, positive parenting and healthy relationships.

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Carrie Kube is a director for Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Board. All thoughts and opinions expressed are that of the author and not the board and/or its community partners.