Most of us end the holiday merriment and reverie of November and December with the clean slate of a New Year filled with promise. We make resolutions, we go on diets and detox our bodies. We vow to work out more, eat cleaner and healthier. We make a resolution to be more organized, punctual and to give up sweets and alcohol.
Self care should not be neglected, it’s hugely important. Parents truly need to take time for themselves to destress, release anxiety and find moments that will fuel them.
But, what about the all important family resolutions? How often do we skip over the importance of setting family goals and resolutions? What are the ways we can be more organized in our households, carve out family time, & maybe do a detox/overhaul of our collective screen usage?
We are still in the midst of a pandemic and have had to become creative about finding new activities and ways to entertain our kids.
Below are some resolutions or ideas to consider for your family in 2021 & beyond:
Get More Active – Find activities that you can do as a family that you can do outdoors. We’ve all spent an inordinate amount of time indoors this past year. Make a commitment to find those family activities where you can all get exercise and have “family fun” time. This can be walking, biking, hiking or camping. It has been said that “90% of our best childhood memories take place outdoors”.
Start a Family Night – Find a day of the week (usually best for weekend nights) and have that be a time for games, movies, cooking together. Have all family members take a turn in choosing the activity and the food that is prepared. My family has done Friday Night Movie Night since my daughter was young. She is a teenager and she still cherishes this time with us. It’s actually fostered a real passion and love for film for my daughter. It’s also allowed for some great family discussions, as well as learning for all of us.
Make a Visual Calendar – This has been a great organizer for families particularly during the pandemic. With many of us having to work from home & our kids on remote learning, we’ve had to balance many different schedules. I’ve recommended to my clients that they post their schedule, as well as their children’s school schedule in a place that’s visually accessible throughout the day. Getting a white board, or large calendar for the kitchen or common area is a great tool. I’ve seen this be so beneficial for families as they’ve navigated through this pandemic.
I’ve written an article on the overuse of screens and there I provide ideas for how to incorporate breaks and activities into your weekdays/weekends. You can find the article on my blog.
Make a Plan for More Adventure – Yes, that’s right, make a plan. Start to think about ways to incorporate more fun activities into your weekends and make more long-term plans such as vacations (hoping 2021 brings us this freedom again). Science reports that when we have plans in place for things we enjoy & things we can look forward to, we find ourselves being more productive in our every day.
Gratitude Practice as a Family – I know gratitude seems to be the “buzzword” of late and one that we often overlook because it may sound to many as “hoky”. But, a regular practice of acknowledging what is good and working in our lives just helps with overall happiness. The fact is the happier and more grateful your kids are, they’ll remain happier throughout their lives.
Put Down your Devices – Our addictions to our devices are on the rise for ourselves and our children. Make a commitment this year to put down your devices at dinner time, or other hours each evening. Or, find points in time on the weekend where you can all be device free. One thing I’ve tried in my family is Sunday morning reading time. You can try “music hour”, or audiobooks; podcasts for your older kids. Play around with “device free” times and activities that have worked for your family and be sure to let me know.