New Year’s Resolutions For Parents
Here are twenty-six resolutions to help you begin the New Year with renewed parenting focus and commitment. In 2015:
1. I resolve not to teach my children to have a happy productive life, but rather to help them choose a happy, productive day.
2. I resolve to help my children appreciate that there is no such thing as failure, only temporary results that they can use as feedback to determine their next step.
3. I resolve to fix problems rather than fix blame by maintaining a solution-seeking mindset and teaching my children a problem-solving process.
4. I resolve to aid my children in their struggle with autonomy by creating a balance of power through a shared control style of parenting.
5. I resolve to remember that I want children to behave in ways that reflect what THEY find unacceptable, not in ways that I, the parent, find unacceptable.
6. I resolve to welcome interpersonal skill errors as learning experiences and as important opportunities to implement consequences.
7. I resolve to parent in a way that demonstrates that I believe the only authority children take with them everywhere they go is their inner authority.
8. I resolve to allow my responses to my children to reflect a knowing that some lapses in self-control are developmentally appropriate. I will remember that they behave in certain ways because they are five or eight or fourteen years old.
9. I resolve to parent in a way that reflects my belief that the process is as important as the product. When I am stumped and don’t know how to respond to one of my children, I promise to ask myself, “What would love do now?” I also intend to listen internally for an answer.
10. I resolve to recall that I can choose to see any parenting situation differently from the way I have been seeing it. I will remember that perception is always a choice.
11. I resolve to relax, while remembering that relaxing does not mean resigning.
12. I resolve to make my approach to parenting reflect the notion that raising a child is more about drawing out what already exists in a youngster rather than about putting in to fill perceived deficiencies.
13. I resolve to focus on the main purpose of parenting, the creation of who and what we really are as human beings.
14. I resolve to remember that “being right” doesn’t work.
15. I resolve to parent as if I believe that a child’s I AM (I am athletic, I am creative, etc.) is more important than his or her IQ.
16. I resolve to live today as if attitudes were more easily caught than taught.
17. I resolve to help my children and myself stay conscious of the choices we are making.
18. I resolve to remember the adage, “If you want a behavior, you have to teach a behavior,” and I resolve to put that adage into practice in my home.
19. I resolve to see the hurting child in the child that hurts others.
20. I resolve to “be” the change I wish to see in my family.
21. I resolve to talk less and listen more.
22. I resolve to remember that experience can be messy. I will allow my children to learn from the messes they make and the cleanup that follows.
23. I resolve to hold my children accountable for their actions and choices with gentleness and love. I will implement consequences consistently and allow my children to experience the related, respectful, reality-based consequences that flow directly from their actions.
24. I resolve to make myself dispensable and assist my children in becoming increasingly in charge of themselves and their own lives.
25. I resolve to refrain from making my children wrong for their choices, even as I hold them accountable for their actions.
26. I resolve to recognize that my children are in my life as much so I can learn from them as they are so they can learn from me. I will be open to the lessons my children offer me and honor them for helping me learn and grow.