As the New Year rolls around, many take stock of where they are and where they want to be. This year, try making resolutions as a family. Doing so will give your kids an opportunity to learn about working together as a team and the value of goal setting. We suggest five family goals to set in motion to see what your family can accomplish together. Don't tackle them all at once. Choose one and focus on this goal for several weeks before adding a new one.
It's truly important to put your family on the path of eating more natural foods and fewer processed meals. Search online for healthy recipes. Homemade meals do take more time to prepare than those highly processed frozen or boxed meals. As you get started, look for simple recipes not requiring a lot of prep time. Get your kids involved by having them help out. For dessert, serve seasonal fruit.
Get Fit Together
Figure out a schedule and make a plan to get your family moving on a weekly basis. Active families are healthier families, so get yours moving. Here are a few suggestions to get your family started.
• Walk around the neighborhood
• Hit the bike trails through a local park
• Play laser tag or paintball
• Go rollerblading or ice skating at an indoor rink
• Create an obstacle course in your backyard or indoors
Unplug Once a Week
Technology is an incredible tool, but many have become obsessed with constantly checking in on social media sites, playing games or watching movies. Completely unplug once a week and have a Screen Free Day. You will inevitably get protests from your kids and even your spouse, but everyone will learn different ways to fill their time. Kids will get active and their creativity will blossom. Parents will get back to the basics and spend more time with their kids.
Overscheduling has become a common concern in many families. Is your family's calendar jammed with multiple activities on each day? Are your kids tired and grumpy? Grades slipping and their friends don't come around anymore? Eating take-out every night? If you're nodding your head yes, you need to make a change. Kids need time for their homework, to play with friends, have family time and just relax. If your kids are overscheduled, it typically means parents are, too. Reduce activities and stress levels will drop for everyone.
Argue Less, Talk More
Do you hear a lot of screaming between your kids? Teach your children to take five by removing themselves from the situation. A strategically placed break from the action will allow emotions to calm down resulting in less screaming and more talking. Constant reinforcement of this new process will be needed to make an improvement.
All of these resolutions are worthwhile for your family. When it's a group effort, there's a greater chance for these resolutions to turn into habits. Positive changes can be put in place and every family member will reap the rewards.
Sara Kendall is a freelance writer and mom of two daughters.