The new year has just begun, which means that people the world over are reflecting on what they accomplished in the past year and what they hope to accomplish in the future. As a parent, it can be difficult to set aside time for yourself to shower, let alone reflect on potential New Year’s resolutions, but this can be a powerful time for you to set intentions for your family for the year. While many common resolutions may be too time-consuming for parents to sustain longer than mid-January, we have compiled a list of resolutions that are realistic. Not only that, they may be helpful for improving your relationship with your family and set a good example for your children.

Read More to Your Children

There are endless benefits to reading to your children. Not only is this a great way to bond, it also helps them develop reading skills. Regardless of age, when parents read to their children, it models to them that reading is fun and important. It’s no wonder that interest in reading declines in children around fourth grade, which is exactly when most parents stop reading to their children. Keep their love of reading alive by resolving to read to your child more often.

Worry Less

Every parent worries about their child’s safety, but obsessively worrying does nothing for them but set an example that there is much to be anxious about in the world. While these days, the endless media cycle makes it seem like danger lies behind every corner, in reality, our world is safer today than it ever has been. Do what you need to do to keep your child safe, then let them explore their world freely. Spend less time on “what ifs” and let them enjoy their childhood.

Get Outside More

In our techno-centric world, it’s easy for kids (and adults) to spend most of their time indoors. Long gone are the days of “free range” kids who spend their entire days outdoors and wandered home when the street lights came on. Spending time outdoors is invigorating, healing, and inspiring for all involved, so resolve to spend more time outside with your children this year. You can start in your own backyard, then begin planning more outdoor adventures when it warms up, such as to a national park.

Practice Gratitude

The best way to be happier is to be more grateful for what you have. You don’t need more stuff; you just need more appreciation for what’s already in your life. Kids who are raised to be more grateful are happier their whole lives. This is a resolution that can make the whole family healthier. Try implementing a practice of everyone saying one thing they are grateful for every day, perhaps around the dinner table.

Have Family Game Nights

It can be difficult for families to set aside time to spend together as a whole unit. Having a regular family game night puts time together on everyone’s schedule, and it also encourages your child to talk to you face-to-face regularly. This will be very helpful when they’re a teenager! Not only that, a game night can be a lot of fun for everyone. Try picking one night a week when everyone sits down and plays a game together.

Cook With Your Kids

Cooking with your kids is a great way to teach them about healthy eating and bond as a family. Not to mention, teaching them basic cooking skills now will help you provide meals for your family and give them skills they will use the rest of their life. Resolve to include your child in cooking at least one meal a week; if they come to love it, they may insist on helping you every time you cook. What a great way to get a sous chef!

Unplug More

It’s easy to spend your entire day staring at a screen, particularly if you have an office job. Resolve to spend less time on your phone, tablet, laptop, or TV, and more time getting face-to-face time with your family. It can be as simple as having every family member put their electronics in a basket for one or two hours an evening so you spend time together, sans technology.

Regardless of how you choose to ring in the New Year, we hope that these resolutions help you have a happier and healthier 2019. From our preschool in Glastonbury to your family, Happy New Year!