Every year, people around the globe make New Year’s resolutions. They promise themselves they will go to the gym, spend less money, and finally find the love of their life. But one area that many people don’t think about is making parenting resolutions.
What are parenting resolutions, and how can you use them to become an even better parent?
Read on to find all the answers!
What Are Parenting Resolutions?
Simply put, parenting resolutions are promises that you make to yourself that will enable you to be a better parent in the upcoming year.
Similar to making resolutions that will lead to weight loss, parenting resolutions will help you reach a goal.
And the good news? These resolutions will help you help your kids to be better, too.
Why Should You Make Parenting Resolutions?
The Child Development Institute compares proper parenting to building scaffolding.
It says that just like scaffolding is attached to a building as it’s being constructed, successful parenting operates in much the same way. Builders use scaffolding as a support, but it is taken down gradually as the structure is completed.
In other words, as a child grows and matures, parental scaffolding can be removed so the child can learn to stand on their own.
Here’s a quick video that shows you how to put it into practice.
What does this have to do with parenting resolutions? It turns out, a lot.
From birth to adulthood, a parent shapes their child, and that in part will determine the child’s future.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of 11 awesome parenting resolutions. The more tools you have as a parent, the safer it will be to take down the scaffolding around your child.
Here are our favorite top 11 parenting resolutions that will help you be a better parent next year.
11 Parenting Resolutions That Could Change Everything
Think about each one of these parenting resolution suggestions and determine whether or not you need to add them to your New Year’s Resolution list.
1. Step away from the phone
While it’s true that smartphones pretty much rule our lives, it’s also true that many in the younger generation are forgetting how to interact with actual humans.
That’s because it’s become okay to be on your phone when dining out in a restaurant, hanging out with friends, or even in a movie theatre.
You can detour this behavior by modeling how and when to use the phone. If you’re always on the phone—even at the dinner table—your child will think it’s okay.
Make a parenting resolution that in 2021, you’re not going to spend as much time on the phone. Talk to your child about your behavior and then ask them to join you in the challenge.
2. Open those ears
Everyone wants to be heard, but children have a significant need to be heard by their parents. If you’ve been in the habit of only half hearing what your child says when speaking, this resolution is for you.
Make it a point to stop what you’re doing when talking to your kid and truly listen to what they have to say. That can be difficult as things demand your attention all day, but it’s necessary.
As a parent, it’s important to keep up with how your kid is feeling and doing, and listening to them is the best way to accomplish that.
As a bonus, a child that feels listened to will gain confidence and grow into an adult that is great at listening to other people.
3. Expand their palate
Have you ever met someone afraid to try any type of new food? Chances are, they ate the same foods over and over again when growing up.
Make a parenting resolution to teach your child about all the wonderful foods and flavors in the world.
You can make a game out of this practice, by introducing a new food a week. When grocery shopping, look for an unusual vegetable or fruit to add to the cart. Or, look for a prepared meal your family has never tried before.
Before long, your child will develop an extensive palate and be better equipped (food-wise) when going out into the world on their own.
4. Books are cool. Seriously
As videos are becoming a more popular mode of information, many in the younger generation are losing the art of reading. That’s a shame because many successful people credit a voracious appetite for books for their success.
One way you can help your child want to read is to form a book club with them. Allow them to choose the book you will both read every week, and then meet with them to talk about it.
Because they will be reading the books that interest them the most, they are more likely to learn about the benefits of reading.
And yes, you will likely read about many things you don’t care about (superhero’s and furry animals, anyone?). But you will also find books that teach kids how to start a business, be a good friend, and other worthwhile subjects.
Who knows? Maybe your child will allow you to choose the book every now and then.
5. Give them what they want
Most parents are busy and don’t have a lot of downtime. That’s unfortunate because if you ask kids what they want most from their parents, many will say time.
Kids want to spend time with their parents. That’s why the perfect parenting resolution for 2021 is to spend more of it with your kids.
Just don’t forget to use that other resolution when spending time with your kids: listening to them.
6. Give them what they need
Your kids need sleep—lots of it. And as a parent, it’s up to you to make sure they get enough sleep so they can handle the challenges of the day.
Think about how you feel when you don’t get enough sleep. Isn’t it difficult to do the things you need to accomplish?
When your child doesn’t get enough sleep, it will cause them problems in school and relationships, because let’s face it, no one is at their best when they’re tired.
And eight hours isn’t going to cut it. Experts say that kids need varying amounts of sleep depending on their age.
For instance, a newborn needs 14 to 17 hours of sleep. An infant needs 12 to 15 hours of sleep, but a toddler only needs 11 to 14 hours of sleep. A preschooler needs 10 to 13 hours, while a school-age kid needs 9 to 11 hours.
Why not make it one of your parenting resolutions to develop a bedtime schedule and then stick to it.
But remember: if you allow your child to stay up past bedtime even once, they will always try to negotiate with you at bedtime!
7. Let them know what to expect
When you tell your kid that something is going to happen, you should do everything in your power to make it so.
For instance, if you promise your child that you are going to go for ice cream after the school play, it’s important that you follow through with the promise. This will teach your children trust.
But it’s also important to follow through when they don’t follow the rules.
For example, if you punish your kid by taking away their phone for a weekend, don’t give in and hand it back to them before the weekend ends.
If you do, your kids will never learn the consequences of their behavior. And even if they do, they will consider those consequences negotiable.
8. Put them to work
Another great parenting resolution is to get your kids started on learning to work. You can do this by setting up chores for each of your children and then tasking them with getting it done.
Common sense says that the earlier you start your kids on chores, the less resistance you will have.
When your kids do chores around the house, it teaches them responsibility and gives them a sense of accomplishment for a job well done.
Just remember to train them well in the tasks so you set them up for success.
This parenting resolution will form a work ethic in your child that will serve them well as they grow up.
Talk about a great way to gently remove the scaffolding!
9. Put an end to rushing
Many parents go through the day rushing from one task to the next. They rush their kids out to the door to school every morning, and when they pick them up, rush them to after-school activities.
All that rushing doesn’t leave a lot of time for quiet time to spend with your kids.
To put a halt on the rushing, rethink your routines and alter them. For example, if every morning is a mad dash to make it to the school bus in time, wake up your kids 15 minutes earlier each day.
And if you don’t have time for a conversation in the car while driving them afternoon activities, reschedule—or gasp…cancel them—to leave more room to spend with them.
A hurried-along child is likely stressed out. Instead of cramming so much into a day, think about rearranging schedules to leave a little downtime for both you and the kids.
10. Step up the dates
Your kids are important, but unless you strengthen the foundation of your home, it will make it difficult to be the parent you want to be.
While you should spend as much time with your kids as possible, don’t forget to spend an equal amount of time with your spouse.
Date nights have been around for generations—for good reason. When parents take time for themselves to strengthen their relationships, everyone in the family benefits.
There are more benefits than enjoying a night out with your spouse.
When your kids see your strong marital relationship, it will help them understand what it takes to form one. And that will help them succeed in their relationships as they grow older.
11. Use your indoor voice
A study published in the Journal Child Development shows that parents who yell at their adolescent kids actually increase bad behavior.
What’s more, the researchers found that kids who were yelled at when they were 13 or 14 years old tended to have depressive behavior, low self-esteem, and conduct issues such as delinquency, anger, and irritability.
If you’ve found yourself yelling at your kids, you’re not alone. The study shows that 90 percent of parents forcibly yell at their kids at times.
Which leads to our last parenting resolution. Promise yourself that no matter how out-of-control your child is, you will not resort to yelling.
Knowing that it can cause low self-esteem issues, depression, and even worse behavior in your kids ought to make it easier to do.
Which Parenting Resolutions Are Right for You?
If you’re looking to up your parenting game, good for you! The better parent you are, the more likely it is that your child will grow up to be a responsible and happy adult.
Think carefully about which of these parenting resolutions make sense for your life, and then commit to them for 2021. Who knows? Maybe 2021 is the year you become the best parent you can be!
Do you have any parenting resolutions that you would like to share with our readers? If so, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!