New Year’s Resolutions: Keeping Your Family Healthy and Strong
Everyone has heard of and made a New Year’s Resolution at some point in their lives. As January 1 approaches, we all promise ourselves and each other to change or begin a new habit in the new calendar year. Typical resolutions we make are committing to lose weight, learning a new hobby, cutting out caffeine, and signing up for a gym membership. A New Year’s resolution that can benefit your whole family is setting a goal specific to the five main themes* below.
1. Practicing Resilience
Resilience is the ability to cope with life’s ongoing challenges, including challenges related to raiseng a family. Studies have shown that mindfulness through meditative practices increases resilience. As a New Year’s resolution, try exercising resilience by taking five minutes out of your day to meditate in a quiet place and be mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions without judgment. The period of calm and collection will prepare you to problem solve the challenges you may be facing.
2. Learning More About Child Development
Gaining accurate information about your children’s development is key to raising your children because it will allow you to develop appropriate expectations of their behavior at all stages of their growth. Learning about child development will teach you what to expect and when about your child’s behavior. Commit to studying or learning new information on your child’s development this year. Read our article to learn everyday tips to support your toddler's growth and development, you can find best practices for raising older children here.
3. Gaining Social Connections
Building new and strengthening old connections with friends, family, and others in the community is vital to receiving emotional support and assistance for parents and children. As a New Year’s Resolution, commit to fostering a new social connection, such as meeting a new neighbor or joining a new playgroup in your community. Building new relationships can expand your social network and be helpful in times of need.
4. Strengthening Communication with Your Child
This year, resolve to be a better listener for your child to hone his or her emotional intelligence. A child's ability to communicate their emotions and interact positively with others is necessary for healthy development. Becoming a better listener when communicating with your child will strengthen their social and emotional development and help them regulate their emotions.
5. Asking for Help in Times of Need
Practicing seeking help in times of need is vital for keeping your family healthy and strong. Utilize your local community resources in times of need instead of going about life’s challenges alone. Whether it is accessing a food bank, or receiving free clothes, accessing the resources your need will significantly benefit the health and safety of your family.
*These five themes are based on years of research, study, and practice of the Strengthening Families model of the Center for the Study of Social Policy and form the basis for our work at The Children’s Trust.