Cheers to 2017! For many of us, the New Year means reflecting on the past year and making positive changes for the upcoming year.  Children can also benefit from self-reflection and by setting goals for the future.  Educated Nannies has some tips to share on how kids benefit from making resolutions!

Make it a Family Tradition:  The best way to teach children the importance of New Year’s resolutions is by making it part of the family tradition.  Educated Nannies encourages families to sit down with your children and reflect on the past year. Take the time to talk about your accomplishments and goals both as individuals and as a family.  As part of your discussion, talk about ways you can make a difference within your family, school, or community.

For older children, encourage them to make a list of their own accomplishments and goals.  For the littler ones, they can draw a picture, or you can jot down their ideas.  Resolutions for the family might include unplugging from electronics during dinner and sharing daily highlights, being more physically active on the weekends, or committing to volunteer a few times a year.  Your child’s resolution might include helping to clear the table, making sure to write thank you notes for gifts they receive, or helping a younger sibling with their homework.

Be a Role Model: It’s important for parents and nannies to be role models. If children see you picking up trash off the ground, donating to a cause, using kind words, and exercising, they are more likely to join in.  If you lead by example, children will understand the value of setting and keeping goals. Celebrate the small victories in life! If your goal is to drink more water, cheer each other on. If your child’s goal is to improve upon his/her reading skills, make it a priority to have 20-30 minutes of reading time each night. Encouraging one another goes a long way!

Keep Things Positive: When making New Year’s resolutions with your children, it’s important to keep things positive.  You don’t want to create a laundry list of things your children need to change or a list of items that are too hard to accomplish. Focus on the positive things they have accomplished last year and ask them, “What are some of the things you did that you are most proud about this year?   Is there something you think you could do better?   How can you make a difference not only in your life, but for your family and the community?”

Celebrate Accomplishments: We all know that feeling of meeting a goal. Your heart starts to beat faster. You feel this sense of pride. You may even experience perma-grin!  Children also relish that thrill of accomplishment, especially when their parents are acknowledging it!  It’s important to remember to praise your children for meeting their goals along the way.  This will help them to stay focused, and continue to work on their resolutions throughout the year.

What are some of your New Year’s resolutions or traditions you share with your family?  How do you make sure you stay on track throughout the year? What do you do to celebrate your accomplishments?   Please comment below. Educated Nannies want to know!