The whirlwind 2020 can finally be put in the rearview window. Here are some healthy habit-forming New Year’s resolutions for children and parents to start in 2021.
New Year’s resolutions are not only for adults. Resolutions are a great example of goal setting that can help children develop healthy habits now that will serve them well as they develop.
It is important for adults to follow the SMART guidelines for their own resolutions and those they set for their children. The SMART guidelines are specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and time-bound
Keeping those guidelines in mind, here are a few suggestions for children and their parents when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions in 2021.
Wash hands after going to the bathroom and before eating
Even with COVID-19 vaccines being administered, 2020 taught the world to never overlook healthy precautions. If a child washes their hands often and regularly, they help prevent the spread of germs to themselves and others.
Put toys where they belong when finished playing
Tidiness and organization are important as children develop into teenagers and young adults. Requiring a child to pick up after themselves helps instill a sense of responsibility as they develop.
Brush teeth twice per day
Tooth brushing helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Exposing children to the practice early (around the time their first tooth comes in) encourages making the practice a part of their long-term routine.
Learn a new vocabulary word every day
Reading can assist in social and cognitive development in young children. Often, the literacy levels of children that read frequently is higher than children of the same age that do not read regularly.
Eat fruit or vegetables with every meal
Part of a balanced diet, fruits and vegetables ensure healthy growth and development in children. They also strengthen a child’s immune system to help fight illness.
Compliment something your child did well every day
Praising a child helps develop their confidence. It shows them how to recognize when they have done well and when to feel proud.
Spend less time on electronics
Children whose parents spend too much time on their phone, tablet or television are more likely to experience behavior issues. If a child feels the need to compete for their parent’s attention, they are less likely to respect the authority of their parents.
Begin a regular family activity (game night, community service, etc.)
Along with creating a welcome sense of family bonding, certain activities can improve development skills like problem solving or motor function,
Read multiple times per week with your children
Speech development happens at a rapid rate in children. Reading to children and engaging in regular dialogue helps exposure them to new words and context that strengthens their vocabulary.
Let your children explain themselves, ask them questions
When children are asked open-ended questions, they learn to think about what they want to say and review what they have already said. This is a skill that can assist in problem-solving abilities and push children towards independent thought.