Everyone is beginning to think about New Year’s Resolutions, and I have been thinking carefully about what, as parents, we could decide to do during 2023. At the start of every New Year, I always decide that I am going to be a better parent this year. It’s not that I think I am a bad parent; I just always know that I “could do better.” So, after careful consideration and soul searching, here are my top ten New Year’s Resolutions for parents.
Put away your mobile, iPad, laptop, and TV remote for 1-2 hours every day while you are with the children. Chat, clean, cook, arrange the table, sort post, etc. Take more time to enjoy them while you can, as they grow up far too quickly!
Put the vacuum away!
More playing, less cleaning. Personally, I LOVE this one! The kids won’t remember a spotless house, but they will remember having fun with you.
When your kids test your patience, don’t give in!
Keep calm around your kids. When your kids test your patience, don’t give in. Calming down before reacting is crucial, but we know that this is easier said than done.
Share the chores!
A chore rota in the family distributes the workload rather than putting it all on one person (you know who!). Assigning and reminding kids to do chores can be difficult. Keep a chore jar with slips of paper for kids to pick a chore, such as unloading the dishwasher.
Tucking your child in is a terrific way to bond, no matter their age. Being there at the end of the day and creating a quiet space to discuss builds trust, so they’ll disclose things they wouldn’t otherwise. You can also read aloud to your child. We all know how easy it is to rush through the routine, often out of tiredness, but let’s try and make this a special time.
More family time!
It is so easy for life to take over, especially if you work from home! Aim for more family dinners (with the TV off). They improve diet, academics, and teen behaviour. Try to do something weekly. Game night is another great family activity, as is exercise (have you discovered Park Run?) or visiting a museum. Family time helps build relationships between you and your child.
Moderate your photography!
I go months without photographing my kids, then become his paparazzi for weeks. This year, I want to create a more balanced photography schedule. As children get older, you have to respect where they want you to share their pictures; my oldest hates me posting anything on social media.
Do you smile when your child enters the room? Do you show your children how much you love them when they arrive home from nursery or school or when they enter your room in the morning? Don’t miss every chance!
So these are my personal recommendations for parents everywhere. New Year’s Resolutions need to be something to aim for, but at the same time, they need to be achievable and realistic. You don’t have to do all of the above, but why not pick a couple and see how you go?
Happy New Year to all parents everywhere! May 2023 be filled with happiness for each and every one of you.