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.
Making resolutions is a great interactive activity to do with your children. If the word “resolution” sounds too intimidating, talk about setting goals—goals that are realistic. And have some fun! Kids love being involved in decision-making and charting their success. Depending on their age, create a sticker chart together or maybe experiment with flavors of vegetable smoothies that everyone can try. Encouraging your child to build healthy skills and habits now will carry 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 let my parents help me brush my teeth twice every day.
- I will wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
- I will always hold a grown-up’s hand when I cross the street.
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 try to create time to read for fun.
- 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 agree not to use a cell phone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt.
- 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.