Are you looking for an activity to fill the time between Christmas and New Years’ for your children? Or maybe you love to make New Year’s Resolutions and want to share them with your kids. Setting New Year’s Resolutions with kids is a great activity for the whole family.
We just gave it a try this past week. Both my kids have some pretty hilarious resolutions but we’re happy to give it a shot with them. Here’s what you need to know about setting New Year’s Resolutions with Kids.
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Why Set a New Year’s Resolution with Children?
You might be wondering what is the point of teaching children about resolutions – they are children after all!
However, a New Year’s Resolution is a low-stress, celebratory, and fun way to help children learn beginning goal setting. It gets children to think about skills being things they can actually learn to do.
New Year’s Resolutions also give children something to focus on. By articulating a New Year’s Resolution, a child is determining a personal priority or value. That’s a big cognitive skill.
Instead of bouncing around from thought to thought, idea to idea, a resolution helps a child focus on one or two things.
Furthermore, by completing a New Year’s Resolution printable, children can revisit the goal easily. Visuals stay in the mind much longer than ideas. Thus a printable is a very tangible way to make a goal.
Promote Problem Solving
New Year’s Resolutions promote problem-solving. If your child is having difficulty making progress on a goal that they chose, this provides opportunities to ask, “What’s working? What’s not working? What’s something else I can try?”
These conversations with your child, especially when it’s for their own goal, will develop problem-solving skills in a way that adult-led tasks simply can’t.
New Year’s Resolutions give children the opportunity to develop persistence. When they use some problem-solving skills and try another way, children learn that repeated effort can lead to success.
How to Introduce New Year’s Resolutions to Children
It’s no secret we’re huge fans of Pete the Cat in our family. We love how the books develop emotional intelligence and resilience for our children.
We also like to watch Pete the Cat on Amazon Prime Video as there is always something to learn. In Pete the Cat’s Groovy New Year, children learn about New Year’s Resolutions right alongside Pete. He is really confused about what a New Year’s Resolution is.
One of his friends wants to learn more bike tricks and another one wants to collect more acorns. Pete’s dad wants to finally fix the van, while his mom wants to complete a scrapbook.
Ultimately, Pete’s mom points out that a New Year’s Resolution is just a goal for the coming year. She also explains it’s meant to be fun – something we want to do or learn.
You can get a FREE 30 day trial of Amazon Prime Video here. Cancel anytime before the 30 days and you won’t be charged for Prime!
New Year’s Resolutions Promote a Growth Mindset
The best reason to do New Year’s Resolutions is to teach your children about a growth mindset. Carol Dweck’s groundbreaking research in the book Mindset demonstrates that many things we consider to be natural talents, gifts, or abilities are just skills that people worked hard to develop.
Many children look at their peers and think they are just naturally talented. This is actually a fixed mindset and we can teach our children that they can accomplish much more if they believe they need to keep working. This is a growth mindset.
Consistent hard work will lead to growth over time. And children need goals of their own choosing in order to grow.
Unlike school where there is such an emphasis on grades and test scores, New Year’s Resolutions provide an opportunity to focus on growing over achieving.
That’s why a New Year’s Resolution of their own choosing is so important. They will learn that any step in the right direction is forward motion
Little children like to imagine what they’ll be when they grow up. We often tell our children they can be whatever they what and they can achieve anything they want.
However, they need opportunities to struggle and fail and try again. When they choose a resolution that is meaningful for them, they are more likely to be motivated to stick with it when it gets hard. And all those failures and struggles are imperative to develop resilience.
New Year’s Resolutions for Children
Here’s how you can help your children formulate their New Year’s Resolution:
- Watch Pete the Cat’s Groovy New Year to teach your child about resolutions.
- Print out the New Year’s Resolutions for Children printables – one for you and one for your child.
- Ask your child what he or she would like to do in the New Year. Look at the second page for suggestions.
- Complete the printable right alongside your child for yourself.
- Help your child state it in a positive way for things to do, not bad habits to break.
- Focus more on goals and a growth mindset. So instead of stop fighting with my brother, maybe your child can practice sharing with her brother.
Here are ten suggestions to get your child and you thinking:
- Read 10 books
- Learn to read 20 sight words
- Ride bike with training wheels
- Learn a new skill for my favorite sport
- Learn to print lowercase letters
- Learn to do a new chore
- Have a screen-free weekend
- Brush teeth using a sand timer
- Eat a new fruit or vegetable
- Learn to count to 100
Manage Your Expectations
Remember to manage your own expectations. Your child will likely choose something incredibly lame.
Last year, our three-year-old son’s resolution was to see more garbage trucks. I’ll ask them more questions to draw out their goals, but the point is they are setting goals.
Also, most likely your child will fail at the resolution. And that’s okay!
Use it for an opportunity to have conversations about what your child thinks. There is no need to solve the problems for your children. This resolution is all theirs.
We’re looking for growth in the goal, and growth in skills for goal setting. So don’t expect your child to actually master the resolutions.
Recapping New Year’s Resolutions for Kids
Here’s the summary for busy parents:
- Pete the Cat’s Groovy New Year provides a good introduction to New Year’s Resolutions.
- You can watch it with a free trial to Amazon Prime Video.
- Resolutions with children are a fun and celebratory way to begin goal setting.
- They develop focus, problem-solving and resilience.
- Resolutions can be an opportunity for growth mindset.
- I created a resolution printable and some suggested goals in the free printables.
- Display your family’s printable, and give your children opportunities to practice or do the resolution.
- But manage your expectations; you are looking for any growth not an achievement.
Grab the printables below and give simple New Year’s Resolutions for Kids a try in your family. Celebrate any forward progress or learning. Your children will be learning valuable skills for a lifetime of intentional living.