Inside: Why it’s important that kids create New Years Resolutions, and 6 examples of great resolusions for kids that everyone will love. And this post contains affiliate links.
With the beginning of every new year, adults tend to start off January with a big list of resolutions.
Resolutions to eat better, spend less time on their phones, or to stop yelling at our kids so much.
My current resolution for myself is to be kinder to me. To only speak to myself the way I speak to my friends. To remind myself I’m doing enough, and that I am enough as a mom.
But I spend so much time making sure I’m squared away with my resolutions and plans to better myself, I often forget to talk to my kids about their goals for the new year. To figure out what their resolutions could be.
Kids Can Make New Year’s Resolutions
I don’t need to be the only one who’s going to eat healthier, ask Alexa less questions, and watch less TV.
Because when we encourage our kids to make resolutions, we teach them we can all change. We can all grow. And we can all improve ourselves.
Kids can understand if there’s something we don’t love about who we are, or what we’re doing, we can work to fix it. We can make a plan to make who we are better.
It’s this growth mindset that actually plays a huge roll in their life successes.
According to Alexa–whoops, already screwed up that resolution–a resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. It’s a promise to oneself to get better and to do better. To try to be better.
That’s not an adults-only message.
Kids will understand resolutions and goals if we break it down and walk them through it. And if we help them find areas in their life that could use a little-ahem-improving.
New Year’s Resolutions Have to Be Their Decision
Our goal is not to make our kids feel bad about themselves or their shortcomings. Or to try to make them perfect versions of themselves.
But with a clear message that everyone needs to work on themselves and grow themselves, kids will become accustomed to personal development and self-improvement. And it won’t be a hard or painful exercise.
One word of caution. While we do want to guide our kids and help them figure out ways to better themselves, this has to be their decision.
Their resolution is to–and for–themselves. If we tell them what they have to do, what they have to try, or what they have to give up, there is no way their resolution will stick.
They need to pick these resolutions and goals for themselves. They have to decide what will be best for them and what they’re willing to change.
Ideas to Help Kids Pick their New Year’s Resolution
This free printable will help guide kids to choose what goals they have for themselves for the new year. And you can help them decide how to fill it out with these ideas:
1. Persistence to Master a New Skill:
With hard work and determination, kids can learn a new skill this year.
These skills take time, practice, and perseverance. So each day we try. And we practice. And when it’s hard, we keep trying. We keep going. We don’t give up.
Until one day, it seems easy.
That’s when we will have given our child the gift of understanding tenacity and persistence and determination. That’s when they learn the really great things in life come when they work hard for them.
Some new skills for your kids to resolve to learn:
- Cross the monkey bars
- Hit a baseball
- Ride their bike without training wheels
- Balance on a pogo stick
- Climb a tree
- Learn to play chess or checkers
- Play a new instrument
- Read a chapter book
- Swing by yourself
2. Break a Habit:
No kid I know would ever consciously and independently choose to break a bad habit. They rarely even know what habits they have that are “bad.”
But when you point out if they stop these behaviors they’ll stop getting teased at school (like nose picking) or will stop getting nagged at home, they may be on board to stop.
They will need a plan to help them break the habit and might benefit from a verbal or a visual cue from you to help them get started.
Bad habits your kid may want to resolve to break (I’m crossing my fingers my kids choose something off this list!)
- Picking their nose
- Biting their nails
- Leaving their wet towel on the ground
- Chewing with their mouth open
- Leaving their toys out
- Dirty clothes on the floor
3. Responsibility Resolutions:
Again, most young kids I know don’t want to add responsibility in the form of added chores to their lives.
But my tween, who is dying for more independence knows if she wants to be left home alone or get her own phone, she has to take on more responsibility and prove she can handle it without me reminding her.
If your kids want to up their independence level and therefore need to add some chores to their resolution list, here are a few ideas:
- Make sandwich for their school lunch
- Fold own laundry
- Set the table
- Clear the table
- Empty the dishwasher
- Make cereal/breakfast
- Emptying the garbage cans
4. Resolve to Get Out of Their Comfort Zone:
Kids tend to stick close to their interests. I know my kids do.
They don’t flip through the local park and rec catalog and independently think, “hmmm, I’d like to try fencing.Or maybe I should try my hand at crocheting.”
But why not? Why not try something new and different?
My girlie-girl daughter who loves gymnastics and ballet and arts and crafts, took a karate class because we had a free trial month.
She’s now a green belt in Tae Kwon Do and is madly in love with breaking wooden boards while bellowing “ki-yah.” She only needed a gentle push to get her out of the classes she was comfortable and familiar with to find her new passion.
Depending on your kids’ skills and hobbies, here are new ideas to encourage them to widen their comfort zone:
- Art-drawing, painting, cartooning, clay
- Sports-Karate, volleyball, gymnastics, ice skating, swimming
- Coding, STEM classes, Sewing, foreign language
- Cooking or baking
- Musical instrument-piano, drums, viola, flute
- Dance-hip hop, ballet, jazz, tap
5. Get Smarter and Learn Something New:
As an elementary school teacher, I can’t underestimate the importance of this one. We all can, and should, be lifelong learners. Lifelong students. And it almost always starts with good books.
When we encourage our kids to read outside of their skill level and genre, it stretches them to be better readers and smarter people.
Here are a few simple ideas to inspire new resolutions and stronger readers:
- Read a new genre outside of your interests (try a biography or sci-fi or historical fiction)
- Challenge yourself to read x number of books a month
- Resolve to read for x number of minutes a day
- Try to read a chapter book
- Try to read a graphic novel
- Find a just-right book from the library and read it independently
6. Be Adventurous… with food:
My kids aren’t overly picky eaters. But, they are pretty clear about what they will and won’t eat and what they do and don’t like.
But I know what they don’t know. Most new foods are delicious. And as my kids grow up, their taste buds grow and change, too.
I know they did for me. As a kid, I wouldn’t touch tomatoes with a ten-foot pole and now I happily eat pico de gallo by the spoonful. My taste buds grew with me.
Here are some unique foods your kids might resolve to eat this year:
- Artichokes with melted butter or mayonnaise
- Mustard on a hot dog
- Salad (or trying a dressing that isn’t ranch)
- Grilled mushrooms
- Food that’s green, anything with the word “casserole” in it, or anything that’s put in front of them without declaring they don’t like it before tasting it.
But even with all these great ideas and printable to fill out, our kids may not be able to stick with their resolutions past January.
And that’s okay, most adults can’t either.
It’s the process of choosing things they want to improve in their life that is invaluable. It teaches them they can grow themselves. They can change what they want to change.
All they have to do is decide to improve. All they have to do is make a promise to themselves to change. All they have to do is make a resolution.
So maybe by the time they’re an adult, they’ll be eating casseroles and not picking their noses and will have learned how to set the table properly.
All because they got into the habit of making resolutions when they were kids.
Use this free printable to get the conversation started. Your kids will love it!