Great New Years Resolutions for Kids

With the change in the New Year many of us resolve to make the coming year better than the last.  This is a perfect time to turn over a new leaf, and to make some changes for the better.  Here are some suggestions for putting those good intentions into action:

Have your child write down exactly what they want to achieve.  Make sure it is something measurable and achievable.

I suggest not creating a resolution, but instead establishing a goal. . Have the goal focus on behavior, not on an end target such as grades or getting into a specific college.  For example, instead of the goal, “I will make all A’s this semester” replace that goal with these goals:

1)      I will devote 3 hours to studying each and every day, including weekends, even when I don’t feel like doing it.

2)      I will break down all my assigned chapters I will be tested on into note cards and I will memorize those note cards every night.

3)      I will work on improving my writing skills by completing writing workbook exercises 3 times a week, and having a parent or tutor review my work.

Setting Goals for Students

Breaking these goals down into measurable action-oriented duties the child can work on every day is recommended.  It’s great that you have the desire to make all A’s this year in school, but what are you going to do today?

As a parent we can support and encourage our children to follow through on their goals.  But at the same time it’s advisable to keep them as their goals, not our goals.  Let your child have ownership of the goal, and inspire them to achieve them.  Inspiration is best when it bubbles up from within, not when hammered down from above.

I recommend having some kind of tangible reward for your child when they demonstrate real progress towards their goals.  Have rewards be in line with their accomplishments.  For example a new laptop to help with studying is a great reward, while a new video game that could distract them from their goals is not such a great reward.  Sporting equipment, a new bike, or a membership at the gym to help keep them mentally and physically healthy may be beneficial for the child.