The turning of the calendar to a new year sparks a new beginning. Adults typically take this opportunity to make resolutions for positive change—like being more active, eating more fruits and veggies. But what about kids? Helping your children to embrace positive energy can never start too early. And encouraging them to build healthy skills and habits now will carry through well into adulthood. Below find some suggestions for age-appropriate New Year’s resolutions for kids adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- I’ll pick up my toys and put stuff away where it belongs.
- I’ll brush my teeth twice every day.
- I won’t tease dogs—even friendly pets. I’ll keep my fingers and face away from their mouths or food bowls.
Bid kids & tweens (5-12)
- I’ll drink milk and water and limit soda and fruit drinks.
- I’ll wear a helmet when I’m on my bike, scooter, or skateboard.
- I’ll wear my seatbelt every time I’m in a car—or, until I’m tall enough to use a lap/shoulder belt, I’ll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat.
- I’ll try to find an activity or sport that I like and that gets me moving at least three times a week (e.g., playing tag, dancing, soccer).
- I’ll be nice to other kids and friendly to kids who are shy, different, or new at school.
- I’ll watch non-violent TV shows and video games and spend only one to two hours each day, tops, on them.
- I’ll help my community by volunteering or by joining an organization that aids others in need.
- I’ll stop negative self-talk (“I can’t do it,” “I’m so dumb”).
- When I feel mad or stressed, I’ll take a break and choose positive, constructive ways to deal—like exercising, reading, journaling, or talking through problems with a friend or parent.
- I’ll be careful whom I choose to date. I’ll treat them with respect and without coercion or violence – and expect the same.
- I’ll resist peer pressure to try drugs or alcohol.
- When I see friends are struggling or engaging in risky behavior, I’ll talk with a trusted adult and try to find a way to help.