Raising happy, healthy kids start at home

 

The beginning of the year is a time to reflect on the past as well as an opportunity to start fresh and try something new. Now that the new year is here, give your children the opportunity to write a resolution with you.

 

Start by choosing a resolution that is very simple. Ask your child what he would like to do differently or what new things he’d like to try. Most young kids don’t understand the concept of time and a whole year can seem daunting. When talking about a new start, choose a task for a day or week. Then, extend this for another week and maybe even a month. Starting small and instilling good habits can help develop positive repetitive behaviors.

Some ideas for a new year/new day resolution could be to:

  • Clean up toys after playing all day. Try to make this task fun by singing a clean-up song or playing a CD. See if you can finish cleaning up before the song ends.
  • Another idea to help encourage your child to pick up her toys is to count as she cleans up and see if she can finish the task by the time you get to 25 or 30. Our reader Elise told us that she encourages her daughter to clean up by using hugs and positive comments. Her daughter is now the star clean up helper at daycare. Another reader, Melissa, says she uses a “warm fuzzy” jar. When her son does something positive, she writes a message in the jar. When the jar is full the family gets to have a special treat or does something fun.

  • Eat healthy. Choose more fruits and vegetables as snacks. Allow your child to pick foods that are his favorite colors — orange juice, red strawberries, green peas or blue berries. Give your child a task in helping to prepare the snack.
  • Try to exercise more by moving around the house and playing outside. Encourage your child to play quiet games near you (such as coloring or writing letters), but then also ask her to get up and play games like hide-and-seek or create an obstacle course in your basement. Choose to get more fresh air. Go to the park more often, play in the snow or go on walks together.
  • Consider enrolling in a class or program. Do yoga in your basement or enroll in a sports program or dance lessons through your local YMCA or community education.
  • Be more creative. Take time to make a theater production or a puppet show with your child. Can you make your own puppets or costumes? What story will you tell?
  • Paint more or make crafts. Paint with household objects like sponges, potatoes or apples, and develop your creativity on paper or canvas. We recently read that humans are at their best when they are creating. If art is not your thing, make music in your home or dance to your favorite songs.
  • Learn more. This doesn’t need to be difficult. You can choose to read a new book with your child each day or encourage your youngster to learn a letter or number each week.
  • Spend more time with your children. Make memories together. Take funny photos around the house and make a scrapbook, or plan and go on an imagination vacation in your home. Where would you like to go? What will you pack? What will you do?

We’re confident that 2013 is going to be a great year. Here’s to starting it off right by loving and learning with the little ones in your life!

© Let’s Talk Kids, LLC 2013

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