It is that time of the year again when resolutions, promises, and challenges make a grand entry into our lives until they are sacked, unceremoniously (if I may add), sometimes by mid-January. But then a new year is a new year and for some unfathomable reason, it fills us up with hope for new beginnings and do-overs. So here’s me pressing “reset” on my parenting fails of this soon-to-be past year. As I set some goals for myself for the new year towards better parenting, I urge fellow parents to join me and give these 10 new year resolutions a try:
1. Get offline more
It goes without saying that Facebook, Twitter and countless other such “connectivity” apps disconnect us from our kids (and other adults too!) in a way we would hate to admit honestly, even to ourselves. This new year, try to consciously reduce your need to be online 24X7 to a limited time-window per day. Remember, your real friends will remain your friends whether you respond to their messages/emails within the fraction of a second or whether your turn around time is 24 hours (or even more)!
2. Read more
Not just the bedtime story books you read to your kids, this new year resolve to read at least one grown-up book for a change. Children pick up the reading habit more from observing your love for the written word than the hundreds of children’s books you buy for them. So yeah, inculcate the reading habit in your kids by example.
3. Yell less
Children, especially the younger lot, have this amazing ability to get on your nerves, despite their cuteness quotient. Add to it their love for challenging boundaries and breaking rules set by adults, it’s very easy to get sucked into a yelling match with them over their everyday transgressions. This new year, resolve not to hit the roof every time they break something, rule wise or object wise. Agreed, it’s not an easy resolution to follow but, at least, give it a try. Your de-stressed body will thank you for this consideration!
4. Communicate better
Yelling less does not mean not having consequences and allowing your kids a free-hand at anything and everything. It just means that you will need to learn to communicate better with your children about cause and effect. Take the time to explain things, rather than a crisp “you have to, because I said so” approach. Try it and believe me, you will notice a marked difference in their whining and tantrum levels. If nothing else, at least, you will save yourself a guilt trip later!
Not just the children, this new year, resolve to communicate better with your partner too. Instead of assuming they will just know intuitively what you need, speak up when you want them to help you with something.
5. Let it be
Be it your kids’ picky eating behavior, their reluctance to write at school, their temper tantrums or even the time they take to reach particular milestones in their lives, some things are better left alone for nature to take care of in its due course. So yeah, this new year, resolve to let it be and stop obsessing over doing the absolute best for your kids EVERY SINGLE TIME. Once a while, give yourself permission to just wing it.
And yes, more importantly, stop obsessing over making your children excel in everything. Leave them out of the competition (unless they themselves want to be a part of it!) and be okay with it. Let be and let them be too.