We rang in the New Year just a few days ago. Since New Year’s resolutions are such a hot topic right now, I thought I would share my experience this year with you. It always amazes me how at one moment we are at the end of the year, finishing out the holidays and looking forward to a new beginning, then, all of a sudden, bam! here comes the new year. A new beginning . . . just like that.
My kids always get excited about the new year, for one very obvious reason: they get to stay up until after midnight. New Year’s Eve is full of excitement, planning, and a lot of mother-may-I requests. I try to give the kids a little room to celebrate the new year. Yes, I let them stay up way past midnight. I also make some of their favorite foods to enjoy, like homemade pizza. We usually make cookies on New Year’s Eve, but this year the kids wanted donuts. It was definitely a treat. We also make a mocktail to be able to make a toast to each other and the new year. This year it was grape juice and ginger ale . . . so EASY and so yummy.
Kids and New Year’s Resolutions
As we were getting ready to watch the ball drop, I asked the kids about their New Year’s resolutions this year. My oldest (14) immediately started telling me about the things he wanted to concentrate on. Eating healthier and being kinder were the first items on his list. You could see the gears start to turn inside of my middle son’s (9) mind. He started listing such HUGE resolutions, I thought, “WOW! that is going to take a lot of work!” This moment opened up an opportunity for me to talk to my kids about making realistic resolutions.
I think it is great to make such aspiring goals, but chances are those won’t stick. Instead, I talked to my kids about the steps it would take to reach those resolutions. Things such as choosing an apple as a snack versus chips for a snack, or holding the door open for someone instead of being the first to pass through were some of the steps I listed as necessary to reach such grandiose resolutions. After listing a few other examples, both of my boys started listing things that they could do every day to meet their resolutions, like not complaining when it’s time to do chores (yay for me!).
At that moment, it dawned on me that this is exactly how we should look at this fresh start. By seizing the opportunity at every moment we are faced with making a choice. These kind, small, and deliberate actions are going to lead us to our resolutions. They will also lead our kids into making a kinder and loving world for everyone.