A New Take on Resolutions for Kids

A New Take on Resolutions for Kids

As a new year begins, help your kids take time to reflect with these tips.


By: Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.

Forget Goals, Let’s Reflect
Instead of asking them to set goals and promises for the coming months, help them do a little reflecting on who they are and who they want to be. Don’t make the conversation too lofty or idealistic, and try to avoid sermonizing. Just set the scene for a reflective dialogue that helps your kids think about themselves and their relationships and activities.

Over the next several days, watch for times when you can have your children ask themselves simple but important questions.

1. Am I a Kind Person?
This question asks kids to do some self-examination. Regardless of how they answer, the good news is that they’ll at least consider the way they act toward others. Once they answer, you can become more specific.

2. How Do I Treat My Friends?
Hopefully the earlier question about kindness influences the answer to this one and makes your child see her friendships not only in terms of the fun she and her friends share, but also the ways she interacts with them.

3. How Do I Treat My Siblings?
Here’s the hard one, right? Most kids will quickly want to focus on the latest injustice perpetrated by their siblings, but you should steer the conversation back to reflection about how they treat their brother or sister.

Again, the goal is to create some self-awareness.

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4. How Do I Treat People I Don’t Know?
With this question, you may need to offer a bit more direction. Help your child think about how he talks to a server at a restaurant, a player on an opposing sports team, parents of other kids or anyone else.

Introduce the concept that we can make someone else’s day better — or worse — by the way we interact with them.

5. For What in My Life Should I be Thankful?
It’s not automatic for any of us to stop, reflect on and appreciate how good our lives are, so help your children with this. Help them appreciate how fortunate they are to have a home, a family and a parent who loves them enough to bug them with reflective questions.

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