Should Your Kids Make New Year Resolutions?

The idea of New Year’s Resolutions may not hold too much meaning for some, especially since so many people end up abandoning their New Year’s aspirations by the wayside come the second week of January. But the idea still holds, and there are plenty of people who make their lives better and improve their character by making an active choice. The idea behind a New Year’s Resolution is to essentially to look back at the previous year and consider what you want to happen for you in the one approaching. With this in mind, you can list changes that you want to make, goals you wish to achieve or healthy habits that you want to embrace. This sort of positive thinking can be beneficial to children, especially as they get older and become more self-aware and begin to grow into individuals of their own.

Lead By Example
When it comes to developing healthy habits and overall behavior, kids learn best by example. Sit down with your kids and talk with them. Ask them questions about their year and what they hope for the year to come. But don’t just get into a discussion about observations and aspirations. Share your own resolutions with them and lead by example.

Parents, like many other adults, tend to make the same resolutions year after year. Lose weight, eat healthier, and travel more. But many of these aspirations are abandoned due to continuously busy schedules and life simply getting in the way. While it is still good to think about bettering your lifestyle as best as you can, you can also consider adopting other resolutions that may be more attainable. As a parent, you can make aspirations to commit more one-on-one time with your kids, devoting a certain amount of days per week to read them to bed, play a game, or prepare a meal together. You can improve daily family routines that will help you all excel in the upcoming year such as everyone in the house getting involved with chores, cooking dinner or planning family time together.

Stay Positive
Make sure that you present resolutions and the idea of making them in an optimistic way. Sure, resolutions are about bettering yourself and your life, but it does not mean that it has to be presented in an obligatory manner. Kids don’t want to feel like they have homework and they may generally respond negatively if the idea of making resolutions is approached in a preachy way or enforced with a punishment of sorts, or even the mere idea of negative side effects arising as a result if a goal is not met. Kids should feel excited about the resolutions they make! This enthusiasm will better ensure that they are successful in their endeavors and will help them feel confident enough to do so as well.

Keep it Simple
This advice does not just apply to kids looking to make New Year’s Resolutions but to adults as well. Keeping your list to around three is a great (and realistic) start. Having too many resolutions can feel overwhelming and it may seem impossible to complete the list. Sticking to a few goals and working at them day by day, you and your child are more likely to see positive results.

Now that you have an idea of when New Year’s Resolutions may be good for kids, how they can be helpful in building character and how to go about doing it, what are some good resolutions for kids? Here is a starter list to help you get going:

1. Read more!
—- As a parent, you can help your child choose a number goal if they would like based on their age and reading level. Make a game out of it and create a chart to track your child’s progress throughout the year!

2. Learn and maintain healthy habits
—- This resolution can apply differently depending on the age of the child. For instance, kids aged 3-5 can resolve to brush their teeth on their own, or at least try, every morning and night, whereas kids aged 7-12 can resolve to drink more water or make healthier lunch choices at school.

Courtesy of Dr. Theresa Fuller S.M.A.R.T Resolutions

3. Eat more veggies
—- A bit like the previous resolution, eating veggies can help kids live better, but when it comes to eating healthy you can incorporate meal prep and cooking into their resolution, too. Have your kids prepare one meal a night that includes veggies – studies show that kids are more likely to eat new foods, especially veggies, if they had a hand in the preparation.

4. Stay active!
—- Whether your children choose to pick up a new sport or devote a certain amount of time per day or per week to a certain activity, this can be a really fun resolution.

5. Do chores
—- Without making it sound too much like a demand, discuss with your child a chore or two that they can become in charge of this upcoming year.

6. Be kind.
—- Encourage your children to perform acts of kindness. There need not be a specific reason or prerogative behind the gesture, but by enforcing the idea, kids may develop the habit of treating others well, being polite and helping others without needing to be prompted as they get older.

For more parenting resources subscribe to our blog and for tips on how to get your kids to read more in 2016 visit us at

How To Build Your Child’s Confidence – Without Spoiling Them!

Building Confidence without Spoiling Kids
Confidence can be powerful. Studies show that confidence is key when it comes to success, whether it be in academics, relationships, or climbing up the career ladder. One of the main things that parents want to teach their children is the power of their own self-confidence. Having a healthy amount can help kids excel at school and make friends with ease. But overconfidence can lead to arrogance, and there is a big difference between these two things.

A recent study conducted by the Ohio State University that increasing narcissistic qualities in children can be attributed to their parents’ treatment of them. Believing that your child can do whatever they set their mind to is completely healthy, but giving them unrealistic ideas in the valuation of their achievements and abilities consistently over time can be an issue. Confidence is defined as “a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities and judgement” whereas the definition of arrogance (or ‘to be arrogant’) is “having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities”. Many parents may know what it is like to feel unsure or unsuccessful and do not want their children to feel this way at all. This is totally understandable – we have all been there. But riding the line between a healthy sense of self-confidence and a strong sense of arrogance can be tricky.

Are you spoiling your kids?

As parents, you want your child to feel special, to feel loved, and to trust in their abilities. A child with healthy self-confidence will have realistic ideas and goals, they will be able to learn from their mistakes, and they will be able to take failings or shortcomings in stride. Not everyone is perfect, and while not doing so well on a school test or not winning a contest can make anyone feel sad, it’s nothing to throw a tantrum over. Parents usually may want to step in and correct their children’s mistakes, do all of the hard work for them, and let them know that they are extremely special.  While your child is certainly an important person they still need to understand that hard work goes a long way, that nobody’s perfect and that they can still pick themselves up after they fall relying on themselves, and not solely on mommy or daddy.

It’s important for parents to realize when they need to let their children deal with issues on their own. That doesn’t mean ignoring their problems completely, though. Show them emotional support and give them advice, but letting mommy or daddy fix every problem can lead to more complicated problems down the road as they get older. Not only will they think that they can do no wrong, but they will not fully understand the concept of consequences or know how to learn and grow from their mistakes.

Building a child’s confidence is still key, especially early on. Encouraging kids to try new things and learn new skills can help a great deal. Personalized children’s books are a great way to get kids confident in their reading skills and can even help kids when it comes to self-actualizing and setting goals for themselves. When kids see the book versions of themselves accomplishing great things and saving the day, they can better imagine achieving the same things in their everyday lives. Personalized books can help kids when it comes to learning, for example learning to use the potty, learning a new sport or simply reading on their own. These are all activities that kids learn at a young age and some may struggle with it, especially when they first start out. It can be easy to get discouraged, but it’s important not to excuse or ignore these feelings. Teaching kids to work through these difficult feelings and empowering them with the idea that they can accomplish great things with practice and hard work can be invaluable to their self-confidence for life.

In addition to introducing kids to personalized books, there are several things you can do to help their self-esteem and confidence without encouraging arrogance. Sometimes, when your children fall (whether literally or figuratively), you just have to let them fall. Be there for them when they do, but kids need to learn that actions have consequences. This perpetuates the idea that kids are responsible for their actions, so they should learn to be held accountable and do so in a healthy way. Giving kids chores and tasks helps too, it not only makes them a working member of the family but it gives them a sense of responsibility. Challenging kids is important, too. Making things too easy for them will not only make them spoiled, but they will not know how to learn and grow as a person. Encourage them to pick up a new skill or to get better and perfect one that they already have. Listening to their thoughts and feelings is vital as well. Not only can doing so strengthen your relationship, but it provides parents with the opportunity to learn about their child’s fears, insecurities and can allow them a time to vent. Expressing emotion is vital to understanding emotion. It helps kids grow and learn what some of their actual strengths are.

It may be difficult as a parent to watch your child go through difficulties, but helping them through it instead of sweeping it under the rug can do a lot for their character. They will be able to build a healthy sense of self-confidence that they can rely on instead of falling back on an unrealistic view of themselves that may only hurt in the long run.

Snow Day! No School! What to Do?

Snowy days can certainly be exciting. While kids may be tempted to enjoy the outdoors, there is usually a time limit before toes get too cold. There are plenty of fun, cozy things to do inside on a snowy day to keep any child (or adult for that matter) thoroughly entertained.
Reading in an indoor fort

1.  Build a Fort. This is a rainy or snow day mainstay. Building a fort can be loads of fun and many of the other things that you can do on a cozy day in the house can also be enjoyed from within the fort, so why not make it first on your list? Gather your pillows, cushions, extra blankets and guest linens into the most lavish and/or most comfortable concoction you and your child can dream up. Light it up with some glowy lamps, night-lights, or strings of Christmas lights you haven’t quite gotten around to putting away yet.

2.     Read a Book. Once you’ve built your fort, you are ready to go. Reading is a great activity for snow days. Whether kids are reading to themselves, reading aloud or everyone is sharing in the experience of a well-told story, reading is a great activity. Books can help transport your imaginations to all of the places the snow is keeping you from getting to. Read a book to unlock your child’s imagination and see where it leads.

3.     Act out a Book. Once you have read a book or two, acting out the stories and characters can be a great way to keep a good story going. Bring the adventure to life by play-acting the characters read from the story.  Reenact the events of the story or create your very own sequel! Let imagination run wild.

4.     Play Games. Whether you break out the board games or create a round of charades centered on the characters and events from the books you read, playing games is a great way to pass the time on a snow day. These activities allow for meaningful family time while also allowing for maximum fun as well.

5.     Make a Family Dinner. With everyone home, get the whole family involved in making a collective dinner, even the little ones. Kids are more likely to try new foods if they have a hand in preparing and cooking it so this is a great way to try out new recipes while making some memories. It is also a great way to top off a cozy day spent indoors.