viernes, 30 de noviembre de 2018

7 Tips to Manage Your Child’s Routine During the Holiday Season

The winter holiday season brings with it much more than wonder and merriment. Weeks and sometimes months of holiday shopping, traveling, food, parties, visits and visitors can create enough stress to exhaust the most festive of us.
Children of all ages feel it, too, especially when their routines are interrupted with an overload of events that are often out of their control. The changes in schedule, though well-intentioned, can impact behaviors and moods.
“In general, we all do better with routines in day-to-day life,” said Dr. Mollie Greves Grow, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Structured routines, even during busy times like the holidays, help parents regulate the emotional and functional changes their children undergo as they develop. Routines help children know what to expect as they go through these changes.”
The mother of 5- and 7-year-old girls, Grow speaks from experience as well as expertise. She offers parents several tips and reminders to help foster a peaceful and joyous holiday season for the entire family.

Prioritize sleeping and eating

There will be some deviation and relaxation from a normal schedule during the holidays, but parents should stick to their child’s sleeping and eating patterns as much as possible.
The amount of sleep recommended for children varies with age. Toddlers typically sleep 11 to 14 hours in a 24-hour period; preschoolers 10 to 13 hours; school-age kids and preteens 9 to 12 hours per night; and teens 8 to 10 hours. Eating on a regular schedule also helps maintain energy and blood sugar levels. If planned parties or meals conflict with your child’s eating schedule, work to find a middle ground whenever possible and bring along healthy snacks if needed.
For toddlers and younger kids, adhering to a consistent eating and sleeping schedule makes it less likely they’ll have a meltdown. “Regardless of age, we function better when we eat and sleep right,” Grow said.

Take part of home on the road

Comfort items from home may help your child acclimate to a different environment: a pillow, blanket, noise machine or favorite stuffed animal. For infants and toddlers, call ahead to see if a pack-and-play or a crib is available where you’ll be staying.

Be open and honest with family

We tend to see more extended family around the holidays. They may not always be aware of the rules and routines your household follows. A good approach is to be forthcoming and explain why something is or is not allowed for your child. 

Set limits when it comes to diet

The holidays offer easy access to unhealthy foods and dessert items that shouldn’t be consumed in big quantities. With younger children, it’s easier to choose what is put on their plate. As kids get older and make more decisions on their own, this can be a challenge.
When it comes to diet, moderation is key. Grow suggests one way to encourage moderation is to have the parents set limits on the quantity of certain types of food and then let the child decide what they eat. An example is allowing a set amount of sweets per week (i.e., one per day or only on a weekend) and leaving it up to the child to decide when they get to treat themselves.
“Have a conversation with your child and explain that the limits on consumption aren’t a punishment, rather, to help them stay healthy,” Grow said.

Develop a game plan for screen time

There may be more access to television, computers and mobile devices at home while children are on holiday breaks from daycare and school. One way to manage this is with an age-appropriate media and screen time plan. The American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines on the subject and are both great informational resources for parents.
Many of the same holiday specials parents watched as children are still popular today (“A Charlie Brown Christmas” first aired in 1965). Use your discretion in how many of these you allow your children to watch. When you do allow them to watch, be with them and discuss the lessons taught in the special. Make it more than just a show. By watching together, parents can be “media mentors.”

Plan for group activity

It is up to parents during holiday breaks to find a substitute for the physical activity that is part of a child’s normal daycare or school curriculum. Prepare for the indoor and outdoor options in your area by having the right rain or snow gear and attire available. Whatever options are available, try to make some of those family activities and have your child help decide those activities. These can be opportunities to create family traditions.

Enjoy the moment

Many of the frenetic activities we take part in during the holidays are not meant to take center stage, but often do. Focus on creating memories with your child. It’s a great opportunity to make the breaks from your routines special instead of stressful.
“Kids grow fast. They change quickly and each year is very different for them,” Grow said. “It’s important for parents to slow down, be present and enjoy this time of year with their children.

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viernes, 21 de septiembre de 2018

Supporting your child’s school-age friendships

Children who find it easy to make friends
If your child finds it easy to make friends and gets on well with them, you can arrange playdates and sleepovers by talking to other parents.
If your child finds playdates tricky or she and her friends aren’t getting along, try keeping the playdates fairly short – for example, 1-2 hours. You could also help the children choose an activity that they’ll both enjoy.
At the beginning of a playdate at your house, you can talk with the children about what areas of the house or garden they can use, including the bathroom, and offer a snack or drink. Be available in case a child needs help, but give your child and his friend time and space to learn how to get along with each other.
Children who find it harder to make friends
If your child finds it hard to make friends, you can be more active in helping her.
You could look for extracurricular activities – for example, sports, dance or art classes – to give your child opportunities to meet children with similar interests.
Sometimes reminders about what to do might help too. For example, you could encourage your child to introduce himself when he meets new children – ‘Hello, I’m Kai. What’s your name?’
You might need to be active in setting up playdates for your child. For example, on the way home from an activity ask your child if there’s anyone she’d like to invite. At the next class, help her to invite her friend.
Another idea is to ask your child whether he’s interested in the games other children are playing at school. He might be keen to play soccer, but unsure about the rules. If he doesn’t like the games that they’re playing, you could suggest that he starts a game that he does like by asking some classmates to play it with him.
Other ways to support friendships
Some schools have a buddy system, where the younger students have an older student as their buddy for the year. If your child needs help finding her friends or isn’t sure of what to play, she could try asking her older buddy for help.
Many schools have other great ways of helping children find someone to play with, so it’s worth asking your child’s teacher if you think your child needs some help.
If your child has special needs, he might also need extra help with his friendships. You could try making friends with other parents and getting together after school at a playground. Give the other parents and children some ideas on how to include your child. For example, ‘Bill loves watching people play soccer. He can throw the ball in and be the scorer’.
I was surprised how going to dance class each Sunday helped my daughter with getting along with others. She came out of her shyness a bit quicker, even though she didn’t know anyone there when she started.
– Colin, father of an eight-year-old

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lunes, 27 de agosto de 2018

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martes, 7 de agosto de 2018

11 ‘Back To School’ Parent Tips

It’s time to re-train your child’s brain
Where did the summer go? Fall is just around the corner and “back to school” is on many parent’s minds. The challenge is getting school back on the mind of your “live-in” student. If you want your child to hit the ground running academically this school year, then it’s time to retrain their brain.
Schools around the globe provide a system of routines for maximizing learning that is specific to each student’s age and ability. Unfortunately, these routines have been breached with approximately 90-days of vacation and they need to be re-established prior to the first day of class. Here are 11 tips to help your student establish routines for a successful school year.
1. Re-set sleep patterns. Seven to ten days prior to the first day of school start the process of regular sleep. Wean the student off of going to bed late and sleeping late.’ll probably cave to the “Mom, it’s my last weekend before school, why can’t I stay up late?” However, sleep patterns are crucial for reaching peak performance during the first class period and maintaining it until the bell rings to go home. Start this process sooner than later and help maintain it all year. Good luck on this one. Be bold. Be consistent.
2. Re-set eating habits. Once school begins the eating patterns of the student need to be set so that they can maintain a high level of energy throughout the day. The routines of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and after-school snack prior to homework need to be implemented. In fact, the entire nutrition of the student needs to be well thought out 7-10 days before school begins. Someone other than the student needs to be the chief, family nutritionist.
3. Exercise the brain. Just like NFL conditioning and exhibition games that prepare each football player for the upcoming season, your student needs to warm up and begin to hone the basics of math, reading and writing prior to the school year. To allow your brain to stagnate for three months without reading is a travesty for super-learning and learning itself. Is it too late? It is what it is. But begin now to encourage reading and writing at least 7-10 days prior to the first day of school. If school textbooks for the upcoming year are available, start there with the first several chapters. In addition, math skills can easily erode over the summer. Have your student review the previous year’s math basics before they go to the next level.
4. Set academic goals. Establishing well-defined goals is one of the hallmarks of a champion. Each student needs these academic goals with corresponding strategies and tactics for reaching them. Set goals for each class and hold your student accountable.

5. Identify priorities. Football games, dances, playing video games, watching television, social media, homework, sports, extracurricular participation and friends are all part of each school year. Does academics top the list of priorities? When is homework to be accomplished? Before dinner? After school? After dinner? When can I watch my favorite TV shows? This 90-minute to 120-minute homework routine needs to be placed in your student’s schedule before the school year. Sunday night is a great night to prepare for the upcoming school week. This is a routine they can take into their adult life.
6. Social media. This activity gets its own mention. I believe Smart phones aren’t always smart. This device is your student’s pipeline to the rest of the world with emphasis on their peer group. Self-discipline and concentration don’t always mesh with the cell phone. No cell phone usage during homework. Period. No cell phone usage after certain hours (you decide the nightly cell phone curfew). As a student or guide to a student, you need to know three things about social media. What is my responsibility? What is my authority? And lastly, what will I be held accountable. Monitor this activity. You don’t need surprises. Keep abreast of where and when your student goes on the web and with whom they communicate.
7. Risk and reward. This subject needs to be addressed frequently with your student. Every thing they do or don’t do has a positive or negative consequence. What is the risk of doing this activity? What is the reward (or consequence) of doing this activity? The risk and reward “talk” needs to be given and repeated often. 

8. Ask questions. Tell and yell does NOT work as a form of communication. Many of us have been raised with this form of information delivery. In order to turn your student into a viable and responsible decision-maker, then great questions will eventually produce great answers and ultimately great actions. Asking questions that can easily be answered with a terse and or mumbled yes or no are NOT great questions. Prepare this type of communication and be consistent. “What are your goals for grades and how are you going to accomplish this?”
9. The peer group. Birds of a feather flock together. Interview, research and keep tabs on ALL of your student’s friends during the school year. This definitely includes monitoring ALL social media. If you’re paying the phone bill, then it’s your phone NOT their phone. Your student’s “circle of friends” is the main influencer of how they approach homework, speech, dress, music and any other behavior. Police the peer group. Also, meet all parents of your child’s friends. This will tell you a lot.
10. Get ready Mom and Dad. Yes, as parents we need to prepare to assist our live-in students in setting, organizing and managing the best routines for maximum learning. This also pertains to family activities such as dinner, chores, family outings, sibling behavior, and community service. Of course, your student’s priority is preparing for their academic year and maintaining good grades. But do NOT forget family. This institution is the fabric of our country and needs constant building and repair. Make your student an integral part of the family. Keep them in the loop of all upcoming activities. Make the family name a brand each family member is proud to showcase in the community.
11. Allow for freedom of choice. Academic champions study with great self-discipline and commitment. They make sacrifices and choices. However, all students need some time to blow off steam and just hangout with friends or do nothing while chilling alone. Allow your student the time in their busy schedule to do this. Just be moderate. Grades first.
As parents we have the sole responsibility, accountability and the authority to oversee the education of our children. We can become best friends with them later in life. For now, we are the guides, mentors and coaches. We must be consistent in this endeavor. Be the coach. Be the teacher. Be the guide. Parent! This verb is NOT always cool, but it will reap dividends.
Pay now or you and your student will pay later.
Good luck Mom and Dad. You are the role models our students, schools, and communities need. Our country’s future depends on it.
Have an awesome school year!
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viernes, 4 de mayo de 2018

What Happy People Do Differently

For psychologists who frequently fly cross-country, how we describe our career to seatmates—mentioning for example, that we are psychologists—determines whether we get five hours of airborne intrigue or inside access to a decaying marriage or more detail than you can imagine about an inability to resist maple-glazed Krispy Kremes. Even wearing oversized headphones often fails to dissuade the passenger hell-bent on telling her story of childhood abandonment (which is why it is handy for research psychologists to simply say we study " judgments"). For those of us who risk the truth and admit that we study happiness, there's one practically guaranteed response: What can I do to be happy?
The secret of happiness is a concern of growing importance in the modern era, as increased financial security has given many the time to focus on self-growth. No longer hunter-gatherers concerned with where to find the next kill, we worry instead about how to live our best lives. Happiness books have become a cottage industry; personal-development trainings are a bigger business than ever.
The pursuit of happiness is not uniquely American either—in a study of more than 10,000 participants from 48 countries, psychologists Ed Diener of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Shigehiro Oishi of the University of Virginia discovered that people from every corner of the globe rated happiness as being more important than other highly desirable personal outcomes, such as having meaning in life, becoming rich, and getting into heaven.
The fever for happiness is spurred on, in part, by a growing body of research suggesting that happiness does not just feel good but is good for you—it's been linked to all sorts of benefits, from higher earnings and better immune-system functioning to boosts in creativity.
Most people accept that true happiness is more than a jumble of intensely positive feelings—it's probably better described as a sense of "peace" or "contentedness." Regardless of how it's defined, happiness is partly emotional—and therefore tethered to the truth that each individual's feelings have a natural set point, like a thermostat, which genetic baggage and personality play a role in establishing. Yes, positive events give you a boost, but before long you swing back toward your natural set point.
True happiness lasts longer than a burst of dopamine, however, so it's important to think of it as something more than just emotion. Your sense of happiness also includes cognitive reflections, such as when you give a mental thumbs-up or thumbs-down to your best friend's sense of humor, the shape of your nose, or the quality of your marriage. Only a bit of this sense has to do with how you feel; the rest is the product of mental arithmetic, when you compute your expectations, your ideals, your acceptance of what you can't change—and countless other factors. That is, happiness is a state of mind, and as such, can be intentional and strategic.
Regardless of your emotional set point, your everyday habits and choices—from the way you operate in a friendship to how you reflect on your life decisions—can push the needle on your well-being. Recent scholarship documenting the unique habits of those who are happiest in life even provides something of an instruction manual for emulating them. It turns out that activities that lead us to feel uncertainty, discomfort, and even a dash of guilt are associated with some of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of people's lives. Happy people, it seems, engage in a wide range of counterintuitive habits that seem, well, downright unhappy.
It's a Friday night and you're planning on meeting friends for dinner. If you want to ensure that you'll go home full, you grab pizza or burgers. If you instead pick a cuisine you've never tried before (Ethiopian—sure, why not?) you run the risk that you won't like your injera and wat that much—but you might also uncover a surprising delight.
Truly happy people seem to have an intuitive grasp of the fact that sustained happiness is not just about doing things that you like. It also requires growth and adventuring beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone. Happy people, are, simply put, curious. In a 2007 study, Todd Kashdan and Colorado State psychologist Michael Steger found that when participants monitored their own daily activities, as well as how they felt, over the course of 21 days, those who frequently felt curious on a given day also experienced the most satisfaction with their life—and engaged in the highest number of happiness-inducing activities, such as expressing gratitude to a colleague or volunteering to help others.
Yet curiosity—that pulsing, eager state of not knowing—is fundamentally an anxious state. When, for instance, psychologist Paul Silvia showed research participants a variety of paintings, calming images by Claude Monet and Claude Lorrain evoked happy feelings, whereas the mysterious, unsettling works by Egon Schiele and Francisco Goya evoked curiosity.
Curiosity, it seems, is largely about exploration—often at the price of momentary happiness. Curious people generally accept the notion that while being uncomfortable and vulnerable is not an easy path, it is the most direct route to becoming stronger and wiser. In fact, a closer look at the study by Kashdan and Steger suggests that curious people invest in activities that cause them discomfort as a springboard to higher psychological peaks.
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lunes, 16 de abril de 2018

The Transition from School to University

One of the hardest tasks for freshers is to get to grips with the way university differs from school. It can be a shock when teachers start being really pleased if you answer back, and you don't have to hand in your homework for weeks and weeks. You will also discover that since you can now smoke and snog without getting into trouble, university bike sheds tend to be mainly for bikes.
Like anything in life, preparation will help. This means talking to existing students on your course to get a realistic picture of how many rubbish lecturers there will be and how impossible it will be to keep on top of the workload or live on your student loan. Talk to friends and family, too, making sure they feel included in this exciting new step in your life and that they realise how much you will value their support until you meet more interesting people.
This will happen more quickly if you learn a few life skills before you start at university, such as being able to boil an egg, read a bank statement and put the right amount of bleach down a toilet.
One of the first things you should do when you arrive on campus is to walk around and identify all the buildings relevant to you before you have to find them in the five minutes to spare after realising your alarm failed to go off. Join the campus tour, library tour, even the tourist tour so that not only do you know where lectures are, you can also feel a full part of your new community.
You also need to join something - a society, seminar, bus queue - as soon as possible so you can start making friends. It is much harder to join things later in the term, so resist the temptation to appear mysteriously self-contained.
In any case, an air of mystery is hard to sustain when you are sharing a bathroom. So don't be intimidated by other people's mysterious personas either - they won't be able to keep them up.
However, do make sure you know what is expected of you when it comes to academic work - and what you should be expecting from tutors. Don't forget that they won't yet know how capable you are, so it is up to you to make an impression, and to ask if you don't understand something. No one will think you are stupid. But they might get irritated if they've just sent you an email explaining everything.
One of the biggest differences from school is that teachers won't keep nagging you about deadlines, or even tell you how many hours of study you should be doing. Instead, you will have to work all this out for yourself.
You will need to learn to prioritise and leave plenty of time for assignments, especially at the beginning so that you can work out where to find things like books.
The most important thing is not to rush things, or expect too much from friends - or yourself - too soon. And remember, even if you ignore all advice, nobody is going to give you a detention.
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viernes, 23 de marzo de 2018

Questions to Ask Your Child about Their Day


Get a sense of your child’s life at school by asking questions that elicit more than a one-word response. Try one of these conversation starters:
  • Tell me about the best part of your day.
  • What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
  • Did any of your classmates do anything funny? Tell me about what you read in class.
  • Who did you play with/hang out with today? What did you do? Do you think ________(insert subject here) is too hard?
  • What’s the biggest difference between this year and last year?
  • What rules are different at school than at home? Do you think they’re fair?
  • Who did you sit with at lunch?
  • Can you show me something you learned or did today?

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lunes, 5 de febrero de 2018

Kids & Tech: Tips for Parents in the Digital Age

​In a world where children are "growing up digital," it's important to help them learn healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship. Parents play an important role in teaching these skills.

Tips AAP to Help Families Manage the Ever Changing Digital Landscape:

  • Make your own family media use plan. Media should work for you and within your family values and parenting style. When used thoughtfully and appropriately, media can enhance daily life. But when used inappropriately or without thought, media can displace many important activities such as face-to-face interaction, family-time, outdoor-play, exercise, unplugged downtime and sleep. Make your plan at  
  • Treat media as you would any other environment in your child's life. The same parenting guidelines apply in both real and virtual environments. Set limits; kids need and expect them. Know your children's friends, both online and off. Know what platforms, software, and apps your children are using, what sites they are visiting on the web, and what they are doing online.
  • Set limits and encourage playtime. Media use, like all other activities, should have reasonable limits. Unstructured and offline play stimulates creativity. Make unplugged playtime a daily priority, especially for very young children. And—don't forget to join your children in unplugged play whenever possible.
  • Families who play together, learn together. Family participation is also great for media activities—it encourages social interactions, bonding, and learning. Play a video game with your kids. It's a good way to demonstrate good sportsmanship and gaming etiquette. You will have the opportunity to introduce and share your own life experiences and perspectives—and guidance—as you play the game.
  • Be a good role model. Teach and model kindness and good manners online. Because children are great mimics, limit your own media use. In fact, you'll be more available for and connected with your children if you're interacting, hugging and playing with them rather than simply staring at a screen. 
  • Know the value of face-to-face communication. Very young children learn best through two-way communication. Engaging in back-and-forth "talk time" is critical for language development. Conversations can be face-to-face or, if necessary, by video chat with a traveling parent or far-away grandparent. Research has shown that it's that "back-and-forth conversation" that improves language skills—much more so than "passive" listening or one-way interaction with a screen.
  • Limit digital media for your youngest family members. Avoid digital media for toddlers younger than 18 to 24 months other than video chatting. For children 18 to 24 months, watch digital media with them because they learn from watching and talking with you. Limit screen use for preschool children, ages 2 to 5, to just 1 hour a day of high-quality programing, and watch it with them so you can help them learn from what they're seeing. See Healthy Digital Media Use Habits for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers.
  • Create tech-free zones. Keep family mealtimes, other family and social gatherings, and children's bedrooms screen free. Turn off televisions that you aren't watching, because background TV can get in the way of face-to-face time with kids. Recharge devices overnight—outside your child's bedroom to help children avoid the temptation to use them when they should be sleeping. These changes encourage more family time, healthier eating habits, and better sleep, all critical for children's wellness.
  • Don't use technology as an emotional pacifier. Media can be very effective in keeping kids calm and quiet, but it should not be the only way they learn to calm down. Children need to be taught how to identify and handle strong emotions, come up with activities to manage boredom, or calm down through breathing, talking about ways to solve the problem, and finding other strategies for channeling emotions.
  • Apps for kids – do your homework. More than 80,000 apps are labeled as educational, but little research has demonstrated their actual quality. Products pitched as "interactive" should require more than "pushing and swiping." Look to organizations like Common Sense Media for reviews about age-appropriate apps, games and programs to guide you in making the best choices for your children.
  • It's OK for your teen to be online. Online relationships are part of typical adolescent development. Social media can support teens as they explore and discover more about themselves and their place in the grown-up world. Just be sure your teen is behaving appropriately in both the real and online worlds. Many teens need to be reminded that a platform's privacy settings do not make things actually "private" and that images, thoughts, and behaviors teens share online will instantly become a part of their digital footprint indefinitely. Keep lines of communication open and let them know you're there if they have questions or concerns.
  • Warn children about the importance of privacy and the dangers of predators and sexting. Teens need to know that once content is shared with others, they will not be able to delete or remove it completely, and includes texting of inappropriate pictures. They may also not know about or choose not to use privacy settings, and they need to be warned that sex offenders often use social networking, chat rooms, e-mail, and online gaming to contact and exploit children.
  • Remember: Kids will be kids. Kids will make mistakes using media. Try to handle errors with empathy and turn a mistake into a teachable moment. But some indiscretions, such as sexting, bullying, or posting self-harm images, may be a red flag that hints at trouble ahead. Parents must observe carefully their children's behaviors and, if needed, enlist supportive professional help, including the family pediatrician.
Media and digital devices are an integral part of our world today. The benefits of these devices, if used moderately and appropriately, can be great. But, research has shown that face-to-face time with family, friends, and teachers plays a pivotal and even more important role in promoting children's learning and healthy development. Keep the face-to-face up front, and don't let it get lost behind a stream of media and tech.
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lunes, 8 de enero de 2018

Setting New Year's Goals With Your Child

Creating a New Year’s Goal

However appealing an end goal is, it’s easy to get sidetracked. Help your child craft a sustainable plan. Make sure it’s:
  • Specific: The resolution should include your child’s goal, the skill she’s working on and how she’ll achieve it: “To become a better trumpet player by our May concert, I’ll practice 30 minutes a day.”
  • Measurable: She should track her progress—on a chart or in regular check-ins with you.
  • Attainable: The goal should be ambitious but realistic—something that will stretch your child’s skills but not overwhelm her.
  • Results-oriented: The resolution should explain what she’ll be able to do once she reaches her goal. For example: “Studying with a tutor twice a week will help me consistently get As in math.”
  • Time-bound: Your child’s resolution should specify a reasonable time frame and can include mini-goals along the way (mini-successes can be very motivating).
And another big must:
  • Relevance: Your child has to want to set and reach this goal! She should feel eager and committed.

What a Good Resolution Looks Like

Your child’s specific goals will depend on her challenges, abilities and interests. Here are a few examples of how you might help her refine her ideas.
Social Skills Resolution
Beginning idea: “I’ll be the most popular kid in my class.”
Resolution: “This year, I’ll make more friends. Twice a month, I’ll invite someone over from school or Scouts.”
Academic Resolution
Beginning idea: “I’m going to get all As this year.”
Resolution: “In January, I’ll get a B or better on every science quiz by studying at least 45 minutes for each one and asking my teacher for advice on studying.”
Athletic Resolution
Beginning idea: “I’ll start running and make the varsity track team this spring.”
Resolution: “To learn to run, I’ll download a training app. Then I’ll practice for a Valentine’s Day 5K. If I like it, I’ll find a 10K over summer break.”

Working Toward a New Year’s Goal

As your child works on achieving his resolution, she’ll also be building important skills like:
  • Self-reflection: “How do I want to improve this year?”
  • Self-advocacy: “What do I need to do to help me reach my goal?”
  • Self-awareness: “Am I making progress toward my goal?”
  • Problem-solving and self-control: “What can I do to get back on track?”
  • Self-esteem: “How does achieving my goal make me feel?”
Encourage her to step back and ask herself questions like these—or even discuss the answers with you—along the way. They’ll help her stay on track and get more out of the experience.

Helping Your Child Stick With It

However good her intentions—and her plan—your child may sometimes have trouble persevering. These tips can help you help her:
  • If your child agrees, consider joining her. You’ll make each other more accountable. “I’m also looking to exercise more this year. How about we swim together at the Y every Saturday morning?”
  • Don’t nag. In addition to the regular progress checks you’ve built in, ask questions and offer reminders—but in ways your child can accept. Some kids might respond well to: “I know you wanted to have someone over twice a month. Has that happened yet for February?” Others might do better with, “We don’t have any plans this weekend, if you want to have a teammate over.”
  • Share your own experiences. Be honest about what did and didn’t help you with your New Year’s resolutions. “I’m so glad I joined the library book club last year. It really helped me reach my daily page goal.”
  • Make it meaningful. Let your child work hard at her resolution. If she doesn’t achieve it, you can help make sure that her struggle is motivating, not paralyzing. Talk through how things went off-track and what she might do differently next time.
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