Every January I begin the new year with good intentions. Every year I also break more resolutions than I manage to keep. Do you find yourself doing the same thing? As parents, it’s not unusual to find ourselves questioning decisions we’ve made about our children, rethinking situations we might have handled differently, or even wishing we hadn’t done or said something in the heat of the moment. Parenting continually requires making snap decisions or judgment calls. We don’t expect our kids to be perfect. Why do we put that unrealistic expectation on ourselves?
This new year take a fresh approach to new year’s resolutions. For example, rather than resolving to never get mad, be realistic. There will be situations that will make you mad. Instead, resolve to give yourself a break and focus on all of the positive things you do for your kids and foster children. If you aren’t a parent but work with children on a regular basis, these tips can be beneficial to you, as well. Take a deep breath, remember why you decided to become a parent or foster parent (or work with and mentor kids), and keep doing your best in the moment. Hanging on to the negative doesn’t help anyone. Read on for some new year’s resolutions you CAN keep.
- Today, I resolve to love my child to the best of my ability. That’s it. Just love your kids and remember all the reasons why you do.
- Today, I resolve to listen to my child. Whether it’s the same jokes you hear every day from your little one or your teen shares something about their day (!!!), try to spend less time talking and more time listening, even for a few minutes.
- Today, I resolve to tell my child I love him/her. Wait … I already do that every day, right? Days are so full of school, work and extracurricular activities and families are so overscheduled that it can be easy to forget to say those three little words. Whether you yell it on the way out the door or whisper it before bedtime, there’s always time to tell your kids you love them.
- Today, I resolve to hug my child at least one time. The hugs never seem to run out when the kids are little, but they often taper off as they become older and busier. Even if you have to grab them as they run past you out the door, your kids are never too old to get a hug.
- Today, I resolve to slow down for five minutes. It’s only five minutes, right? While it doesn’t sound like a long time, those five minutes can mean the world to your child. Maybe it’s sitting in the car a few minutes longer than usual or playing a quick game. Slowing down for even five minutes allows you to catch your breath and regain some calm, as well.
- Today, I resolve to tell a silly joke or listen to my child’s silly joke. How long has it been since you’ve heard (or told?) a knock knock joke? Telling silly jokes at the dinner table gets everyone laughing and adds a bright moment to the day.
- Today, I resolve to take time out to enjoy a snack or meal with my child. For most of us, this is a simple thing to do. Many of us eat on the run. If you have time in your day to sit down with your child while they eat (even a snack), this is a great opportunity to slow down for a few minutes and just spend some time with your child.
- Today, I resolve to say something positive to my child. It doesn’t take much effort to just say something nice every day. Your child is an extension of you. Remind them of how awesome they (and by extension, you) are.
- Today, I resolve to remember why I decided to become a parent/foster parent. Why did you decide to become a parent or foster parent? Even when the house is a mess, you are running in several directions or things just don’t seem to be going the way you planned, take a minute to remind yourself of the reasons you entered into the crazy life of parenthood.
- Today, I resolve to be the best parent/foster parent or role model I can be. You don’t expect your kids to be perfect, so why put unrealistic expectations on yourself? All you need to do is be present. Love your kids and be there for them. The rest will work itself out.
Do your resolutions include becoming a foster parent? Take our 30-second assessment to see if becoming a foster parent is right for you! Driven by our Mission of Preserving Families and Securing Futures, SAFY works with families and youth to support their ability to live up to their potential and fully participate in our communities.