January 16, 2018 — By Wendy Sachs
The new year is a great time to set goals and focus on personal improvement. But there are also a number of ways that you can grow as a parent, too. Following these 5 New Year’s resolutions will not only help young children to be better behaved, but they will help them to grow over the year, as well.
- Improve Your Daily Routine
Even if you get off schedule, this is a great time of year to practice better habits and stick to a routine. Maintaining a routine each day is important for toddlers and preschool-aged children, because it will help them to understand what is expected of them, in addition to helping through the day’s transitions.
- Full Attention With Your Child
Make sure that you put some time aside each day to focus strictly on spending time with your child. Give them your full attention — try not to respond to emails or check a smartphone. Watch a movie together, play together, or make cookies together. This type of one-on-one interaction means a lot to young children, and it will play a key role in their development: it supports learning more effective communication, better behavior, and develops a stronger parent/child bond..
- Be Aware of the Behavior A Child Observes
Try to be cautious of your behavior around young children, because this is the time when they start to mimic your behavior and habits. For example, be aware of how much time you spend on your phone or in front of them, how much junk food is eaten, and how others are treated or spoken to. Want children to eat their vegetables or be kind to others? It can start with you as the role model.
- Practice Stress Management
Not only will young children recognize when you are stressed or worried, but they may also begin to feel worried because you are, even at a young age. This may show up in difficult behavior or acting out. Making some time to relax either during the day, or in the evening by spending time with friends, or exercising can help with stress management. It can help you and your child to feel better, because you’ll be less likely to lose your temper or show frustration, which will in turn help your child to feel less stressed.
- Set Goals With Your Child
This is a great time to talk about setting goals with your child, whether that be to eat better, read more, or test out new crafts. For example, you could create a sticker chart to keep track of how many books you read together each day, week, and month. You could then reward them with a sticker pack, a small toy, or new crayons for reading so many books by a certain time.