Our Downtown Internal Medicine/Pediatrics (Med-Peds) physician, Dr. Ryan Tomlinson, offers tips for New Year's resolutions for the whole family!
by Ryan Tomlinson on Thursday, February 2, 2017
Our Downtown Internal Medicine/Pediatrics (Med-Peds) physician, Dr. Ryan Tomlinson, offers tips for New Year’s resolutions for the whole family!
We've all heard the phrase “new year, new me,” but have you considered extending this notion to your kids?
The new year is a great time to set goals for not only yourself, but the entire family. It's important to set an example for your kids to have something to strive for at a young age.
New Year's resolutions can be a great way to bring the whole family together for uplifting and healthy activities. The most important thing is to make sure the goals you set are simple, focused, and achievable.
It can be challenging to discuss goals with a pre-schooler; however a resolution can be as simple as “learn something new,” like: dance, a sport, a game, etc.
Additional thoughts for little ones:
- Pick up toys when done playing
- Try a new fruit or veggie every month
- Brush teeth twice a day
During elementary school, kids' understanding of goal setting improves dramatically. Resolutions for school age should encourage them to identify something they want to work on: being a good student, keeping their room clean, etc.
- Be friendly to all kids at school
- Find a fun physical activity and do it at least three times a week
- Drink more milk/water and less soda/fruit drinks
Adolescence is a time of significant change. Resolutions or goals can begin to become more complex and perhaps more focused on long-term goals. The adolescent should play a major role in setting their goals.
- Find a healthy outlet for dealing with stress – like journaling or exercise
- Get involved in an extracurricular activity
- Take part in a volunteer opportunity, community service, etc. to help others
- Establish a healthy lifestyle – good sleeping habits, hygiene, healthy eating, physical activity multiple times a week, etc.
- Establish a GPA or (ACT/SAT Score) Goal
Track the progress of your family's goals with a sticker or chore chart for little ones or visual for older children. Have your children manage the chart, allowing them to experience the sense of pride that comes from keeping track of achievements and keep it positive.
Family meals are an excellent time to discuss goals and progress. This includes parents' goals too. It's extremely important to lead by example. Provide rewards – like a family movie night, special meal, etc. – for successful completion of goals.
Resolutions can be a great opportunity for the entire family to come together and have new experiences while bettering your health and quality of life.