It is one thing to make New Year’s Resolutions—and quite another to keep them. Never is this more true when we make resolutions for our children. Because let’s face it: we need our kids to make some changes in the New Year. The new year offers a blank slate or new beginning - school, doing chores around the house, not fighting with siblings, etc.
It’s so easy to get caught up in sports, activities, work, etc. that it’s easy for family members to put each other on the back burner. Unfortunately, you won’t always have this precious time together so resolve to make the most of it in 2013 by making family a priority.
• Get off the couch. Engaging in physical activity with your children burns calories, gets your heart rates going and strengthens family bonds. Whether you’re kicking the soccer ball around the back yard or chasing each other through the living room, these are the memories that’ll last a lifetime. Besides, it’s good for your kids to see you let loose and have fun (and model the importance of living an active lifestyle).
• Learn something new. Enroll in a martial arts or cooking class as a family or check out books from the library and experiment at home. Take turns letting family members decide what to try next.
• Get to know each other better. It’s amazing how you can live in the same house as someone and not really know that much about what gets them excited, what kind of music they like, what they enjoy about school or what their favorite food is. Start conversations by asking questions and really listening to the answers.
• Eat together at least 4 times a week. Not only will you have the chance to get to know each other better and eat healthier, but studies by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse have shown that children who eat with their families get better grades, feel happier and are less likely to use drugs, smoke or drink.
• Expand your palates. Try new foods from around the world or just ingredients you’ve never prepared before. Ask your children to help find recipes and cook them with you so you can discover new and interesting flavors together.
• Come up with family traditions that everyone participates in. Brainstorm with your family to come up with activities your family can start doing on a regular basis. These can be easy things like Taco Tuesdays, French Toast Fridays, Pizza and a Puzzle Saturdays, or Walk in the Park Sundays that’ll give everyone something fun to look forward to.
May 2013 be productive for your family, and may your resolutions be kept! We'd love to hear about your family's plans on Long Island.com Forum.