I’m guessing that celebrating the beginning of the New Year is truly the only holiday-like experience that is shared with nearly every culture and location on the planet – at least those people who share relevant calendars. The celebrations may be different in how they are experienced and may take place at different times but nearly all annual cycles are celebrated in some way or fashion.
Sharing Our Resolutions
Beginning a new year has become an opportunity for many of us to state our personal “resolution” to make certain and specific personal changes in the way we do things – those that we feel are important enough to articulate and share with whomever we are with at the time. Typically, these are our direct adult family members and good friends. According to Google most of the resolutions are: ‘to exercise more’, ‘to save money’ and ‘to eat healthier’. I don’t think many kids think of New Year’s Eve as a time to establish some type of stated commitment for themselves like so many of us adults do, so let’s leave them out of this unique and once in a year mostly adult experience.
I think it would be interesting and impactful to our kids if we would present one or some of our resolutions to them, perhaps earlier in the evening at their dinner. We can explain a little about this to them on the front side and if they can get some fairly good understanding of this “resolution” tradition they will likely believe that most of us think in advance about our choices and that we take these commitment statements seriously. Knowing that, they now might expect us to make good on our declarations and, if so, then we just might be better at keeping them. I realize that there is a risk in stating our “resolutions” to our kids and not fulfilling them. But if we are truly serious about our resolutions then this could help us gather some steam behind our choice and become a model to our kids of how to consider this kind of choice and how to fulfill it.
Include Your Kids
I would also suggest that we look for some commitment statement that includes our kids. For instance, we could say, “ This year I am going to make a better effort to arrange my work schedule so that I can get to your soccer game every Thursday”, “I’m going to make myself available to help you with your homework a lot more” or “I am going to listen to you more”. These ‘kid’ resolutions do not have to be complicated or involved – in fact the simpler the better. This can be extremely valuable, especially if we actually do it.
Notice I did not say, “I promise”. I think we should never “promise” anything to our kids or, in fact, anybody unless we are nearly 100% sure we can deliver. A promise is different and should be. More on this in future blogs.
If a New Year’s resolution is understood to be a sincere wish on our part and then is voiced and stated in order to garner support from friends and family to help keep it, most kids would love to help with such an endeavor, especially if it provides more opportunities for them to connect to us. Pick something that you can do that directly relates to the welfare or happiness of your child.
New Year’s resolutions can easily include our kids and be as meaningful as we wish. Bringing them into the experience can be a very, very good thing.
I truly hope as many parents and kids as possible have a year full of connection and loving intention.