January is the time for “resolutions,” so let’s think about what that really means.
It is the perfect time to speak to the young people around us about the importance of making resolutions and sticking to them. To make this easy, think of resolutions as goals. We all make them as adults, whether they are fostered in the home or the workplace. However, the key with children is to keep them reasonable, attainable, and relevant.
First, work on them together. This can be a great family bonding experience. Just as you would approach any task, define what needs to be achieved, and develop a plan to address it. Some examples:
Your room is a mess! - Break this one down. Make sure the occupant of the room, your child, understands that a messy room can be a breeding ground for germs (this is perfect for middle school students), and that everyone in the household has a responsibility to keep their respective living areas clean and presentable. Dirty clothes go in the hamper, not on the floor. Toys are put back where they belong, not under foot. Beds are made. Potato chip bags and leftovers are put in the trash, or at least back in the kitchen.
“Fido” needs some love! -Yet another one to segregate. You’ll have to face it. The “pet” was a great idea, but the stench of its cage, or the backyard “land mines” are great reasons to put some New Year’s resolutions in place. First, make sure that everyone understands that the health of the family pet(s) is at issue. Every pet deserves clean drinking water, daily nourishment, and a clean bed. Share the tasks. Who wants the morning shift? Take turns.
Spend some time together. -Make a resolution to spend some time together on a regular basis. Dinner’s great. Hang the electronic devices at the door and talk to one another. Make dinner last twenty-five minutes – you’ll be surprised how many families finish in fifteen, even ten. Talk about the day. Share thoughts. Talk politics (yes, politics – the Kennedy dynasty was built at dinner). Pose a question. If time allows, play a game, but leave the devices on the rack. How about a board game, puzzle, cards?
The yard’s a mess! -Start a garden. A small plot will do. It’s amazing what Warren-Walker second graders in Point Loma can grow in a 2x3 foot raised bed. In fact, Mrs. Wambaugh’s three-year-old class took over two of them and have barley and sunflowers sprouting galore…and it’s winter! It doesn’t take much.
Happy New Year!
Sunday January, 6, 2013 at 12:01PM
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