Raising Concord: Resolutions Parents Can Actually Keep

The New Year brings new hopes and challenges but a host of resolutions we don’t usually keep.


Let’s just put it out there, shall we: We don’t keep our New Year’s resolutions. We mean well, but those grand thoughts of ditching the holiday weight and curbing our TV watching usually fall by the wayside just weeks into the first month.

Not this year! I am making resolutions that I can actually keep. What’s my secret you ask? Simplicity -- no need to set yourself up for failure.

Make some resolutions that are actually attainable. Here are some off my parenting list:

  1. Count to three before yelling at kids. Mind you, I didn’t say stop all yelling at kids; I just suggest that taking a deep breath before hand might lower my tone or calm the moment.
  2. Repeat a request twice and then act. I usually repeat myself four or five times before I see any action. My new plan is to repeat myself twice and then throw those shoes that I keep tripping on right out the door.  I will soon be known as the house with all of the kids' (and husband's) stuff on the front lawn.
  3. Leave for school when it is time to leave for school. In other words, just because the kids are dillydallying all morning doesn’t mean you have to be late for work. Give lots of time reminders and, if they go to school with half their hair done, no socks on or their PJ’s on, then so be it. I bet it won’t happen more than once. But this one will take some guts. Tantrums will be involved, and you will have to keep your cool. But in all fairness, plenty of time warnings should be allowed.
  4. Buy a kids dictionary. If I have to spell one more word for my first-grader, then I think I may lose my mind.
  5. Don’t be a short-order cook. I am pretty good at this but sometimes in the midst of colds, holidays, etc I can cave. Once Jan. 2 hits our house, it is back to one meal for all. If they choose not to eat it, then that is their business. But nothing else will be served.
  6. Let the kids work it out. This is something I am terrible at but am taking a cue from my daughter’s first grade teacher. She asks the kids to try to work it out. I step in way too soon because, frankly, I just can’t take the fighting. I will try to refer to resolution #1, and then ask the kids to work it out.
  7. Let the kids have some power. This is something I am looking forward to. No, really! Little moments of power can go a long way. Maybe my son will decide dinner for the week. Maybe my daughter will choose the weekend’s activities. I think I will have to ensure both know they will get a chance at this to so there are no “that’s not fair” rants.

So that is where I am this first week of the New Year. I am trying to make more realistic plans for the next year and with some adjustments along the way and think I can make them stick. Now that my parenting goals are done it is time to move on to my personal goals. That list may be a bit longer.

Happy New Year!


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