Sometimes we are so focused on our own resolutions – lose 20 pounds, save $1,000, get organized – that we forget to help our kids work on their own personal goals. Here are five resolutions for kids and ways parents can encourage them to stick to their goals:
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
A healthier diet is something we can benefit from at any age. In fact, it is recommended that half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables.
- Use a portion plate. Start serving dinner on MyPlate for Kids portion plate. It’s a very fun and visual way to get more fruits and vegetables on their plate.
- Bag up healthy snacks. Have a lot of healthy options easily accessible and on hand. Individually bag up orange slices, grapes, carrots, sugar peas, so kids can grab and go.
- Serve seasonal variety. Introduce kids to new, seasonal options. You may think there are slim pickings in winter, but blood oranges, persimmons, pomegranates, and kumquats are all winter fruits kids will love.
Keep room clean.
It’s every parent’s biggest battle. How to get your kids to keep their room clean. Hopefully they’ll want to make this their resolution and it will be a win-win for all!
- Timed tidy up. Turn cleaning into a game with a 10-minute tidy up. Set the timer and have your kids race to get their room clean before the time is up.
- Read while they clean. Have clean up time double as story time. Read a chapter to your kids each time while they clean their room. Hopefully they’ll be so excited to hear the next chapter that they’ll want to clean up every day!
- Set a good foundation. It’s easier to keep a room clean when everything has a place. Stock up on plastic bins, take a picture of items and tape it to the front, so kids will be able to easily identify where items go.
Read more books.
Often during the summer we encourage our children to read through summer reading programs. But there’s no reason we can’t use some of these same strategies to get them reading more in winter.
- Create a book club. A parent/child book club is a great way to get closer to your child and their peers while nurturing a love of reading. Use the Age-By-Age QuickFind feature on the Scholastic Parents website to find book suggestions.
- Use an app. Apps like the You-Log Reading app make it fun for your kids to track their reading progress. They use color-coded bar graphs and pie charts to track minutes, pages and genres.
- Attend story times. Nurture your young ones love of reading by attending regular story times. Your local library likely hosts regular sessions and after the story time, your child can pick out books to bring home.
Learning to save money is a lesson that will benefit your kids for the rest of their life. One of the best ways to help them with this goal is to lead by example, but here are some other fun ways to make saving money fun.
- Digital piggy banks. Piggy banks have come a long way from the pink ceramic variety. Some like the Porkfolio wirelessly connect to mobile devices and track the balance and progress towards financial goals.
- Shadow box savings. Put a picture of something kids really want inside of a shadow box. Have them start dropping funds in. Seeing the photo every day will keep them motivated to save.
- Set up a pretend 401k. If your child is saving up for something meaningful like their college education or a car, you might want to consider matching their contributions. Nothing will encourage a savvy kid to save like doubling their money!
Less screen time.
Spending less time in front of a screen can lead to more quality time as a family. This is a resolution we could all use!
- Create an activity jar. Fill a jar with ideas that don’t involve screen time — play a board game, build a fort, draw a picture. Next time you hear those words, “I’m bored,” you can tell kids to pull an idea from the jar.
- Screenless Sunday challenge. Challenge your family to have a screen-free Sunday. No TV, no tablets, no video games, no apps. It might turn out to be more of a challenge for you than the kids, but it’s sure to lead to some family bonding.
- Use parental controls. Many devices now come with a parental control setting that lets you control how much time per day your child can use a tablet or phone. When their time is up they’ll get kicked out of whatever app they were using.