As we near the end of 2019, now is a great time to think about New Year’s Resolutions and encourage your children to consider what they might like to resolve to do in 2020!   New Year’s Day is the traditional time to celebrate a new beginning and kids ages 7-12 are at the ideal stage to learn to make resolutions.   Making resolutions with your children can be fun and exciting, a time for growth and change and an opportunity for family bonding!   What are New Year’s Resolutions?   A New Year’s resolution is a tradition, most common in Western society, but also found in Eastern society. A person resolves to change a trait or behaviour or to accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their life.   The ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago. They were also the first to hold recorded celebrations in honour of the new year—though for them the year began not in January but in mid-March, when the crops were planted.   For early Christians, the first day of the Gregorian Calendar became the traditional occasion for thinking about one’s past mistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future. Read more about the History of New Year’s Resolutions here.   Some typical resolutions today include:
  • Try to be more environmentally responsible e.g. recycle more or cycle to work or school
  • Improve your health e.g. eat healthy food, exercise more, lose weight
  • Improve your mental health e.g. try and think more positively, laugh more often and enjoy life
  • Improve your social skills e.g. try and get along better with people and find out about their Resolutions, don’t just tell them about yours
  • Spend quality time with family members
  Celebrities’ Resolutions from New Years Past:   There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach to New Year’s Resolutions. Take a look at these examples of different approaches you could take from some notable celebrities:
  • Bill Murray: “I would say resolving to make a resolution is the most important thing.”
  • Mia Farrow: “Resolution: I will never take anything for granted every again.”
  • Helen Mirren: “Stop procrastinating.”
  • Susan Sontag: “I want to make a New Year’s prayer, not a resolution. I’m praying for courage.”
  How to encourage Learning Habits as a New Year’s Resolution:   Take a look at our top tips you can use to encourage Learning Habits for your children as their 2020 New Year’s Resolutions:
  • Be Resolution role models: Encourage your children to stick to their Resolutions by practicing what you preach. Your children will likely look to you to learn how to approach this task. Why not sit around the kitchen table and discuss as a whole family how to go about it.
  • Keep a positive approach to Resolutions: Maybe start by going through all the positive things your child accomplished in 2019. This opens up discussion and will encourage your child to consider what they couldn’t do last year, and what may be a good goal for 2020. This allows your child to take control of their resolution and they are more likely to stick to it if it’s a goal they want to achieve.
  • Suggest, but don’t dictate Resolutions: Most experts advise you not to make Resolutions for your child. You could guide and suggest general categories for change, help your child clarify goals, and make sure they’re age appropriate, but your child should come up with their Resolutions themselves. This is how they learn to take ownership of their goals and learn how to plan.
  • Follow up with Resolutions: It’s important to make the distinction between ‘checking in’ and nagging. Follow up about your child’s Resolutions, as this will encourage your child to take personal responsibility for fulfilling their goal and learn independence. If your child is struggling, try asking ‘What is getting in the way for you?’.
  • Plan Resolutions together: This can be a great family activity and can bring families closer together, especially when you set goals together. Perhaps you could plan to do one charitable thing a month and brainstorm about what that might be?
  Struggling to muster ideas for 2020 Resolutions? Take a look at these Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions Ideas for Families.   Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them. Do you think you can avoid being part of this statistic?   Wishing you a Happy New Year from all of us at Exemplar Education – we’ll be taking a couple of week’s break from our regular weekly Blogs, but rest assured that one of our New Year’s Resolutions is to continue to deliver quality weekly informative Blogs for parents… when we return in the New Year!