Happy New Year from our Kinedu family to yours! Time flies when you spend time with your little one, right? In the spirit of making this year special for you and your loved ones, we want to share some ideas on how to start this year with the right foot by establishing some family goals. Keep reading to learn more.
New year’s resolutions are great motivators to help ourselves and our children develop better habits and accomplish new goals. This year invite your whole family to join in on the tradition. Here are some ideas for everyone to get started!
For Mom & Dad
- Better sleep – Set up a bedtime routine creating a soothing space in your room. Relaxing music, aromatherapy, a tea, and making your phone off-limits can go a long way in relaxing your body for a better-quality rest.
- Less cleaning, more playing! – It’s okay if the house is not all tidy up. Your little one won’t mind if the house is perfectly clean when all he wants to do is have fun with you.
- Being present – Take a deep breath and focus on whatever it is that you are doing. Groceries are not going to buy themselves by worrying about them; when it’s time to buy them, you can focus on that. Multitasking only separates you from the present moment.
- Date night – When was the last time mom and dad had some alone time? Having children might change certain rituals, habits, and traditions that you used to have as a couple. Whether it’s dinner for two, an outdoor activity, or taking a trip, find something that brings you closer together and make it a monthly tradition.
- Love not war – Having a child takes two people, and no one knows and understands your relationship better than you. Try to seek ways to be grateful to your partner each day; “Thank you!” and “Great job!” go a long way. Organize your thoughts before you speak, pause, and listen. Disagreements will rise, so create an environment where support is always present and there’s no problem the two of you can’t handle together. More hugs, less yelling.
For your Little One
- What would you like me to do for you? – Even if your little one can’t speak yet, he probably has a few requests he would like for his new year resolutions with you. “Mommy can you make my veggies taste better?”, “I get fussy during tummy time; can we find a way to make it more enjoyable for me?”.
- Spend some time outdoors – Some of our favorite childhood memories probably include some outdoor play. Kids love the outdoor world, and it exposes them to new, natural, and colorful stimuli. Make a commitment this year to include some fresh air during play time. Whether it is exploring the backyard, having a picnic, or just sitting on the grass; set aside some time for an adventure in nature with your little one.
- Make new friends – Beyond being fun, making friends is an important block on your little one’s socio-emotional development. Make a commitment to set more playdates this year and teach your child about taking turns, being kind, and tolerating frustration.
- Learn new things – Cognitive psychologists conducted an experiment and found that babies learn from unpredictability in a similar way adults learn to adapt to a new experience. This year try setting up activities where you motivate your little one to identify, explore, and question things. Make time for pretend play, explore the colors outside, talk about the weather, and use open-ended questions. Maria Montessori believed children are like “little scientists” who are eager to observe and make “what if” discoveries about their world.
- Engage in physical play – Researchers have found that exercising from an early age enhances cognitive outcomes later in life: it helps with regulating one’s emotions and have a better emotional awareness. This year try involving more active playtime ideas, such as playing with balls, hide and seek, or chasing each other. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children as young as 2 years old get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
For the Family
- Group games – This year try making a tradition of having a family game night. Besides being fun, it will strengthen your bond as a family, enhance your children’s cognitive skills, and open communication channels among all family members.
- More adventures – More adventures do not necessarily mean going out of town. Try making your own family adventures finding exciting places in your hometown. Taking a trip to your neighborhood park, visiting a museum, city fair, or even making a camping trip on your backyard can give you a sense of getting out of the house and the chance to connect with your kids.
- Practice gratitude together – Studies show that people who regularly express gratitude toward others are more likely to be compassionate, generous, and happy. This year nurture gratitude at home by giving warm greetings and farewells to each other, use the words “grateful” and “thankful” in your everyday vocabulary, and try making a tradition of sharing something you are thankful for every day.
- Eating healthy – This year make some healthy habits as a family by limiting the junk food that comes inside the house. Try preparing meals with fresh ingredients instead of processed ones, and make an effort to try to sneak veggies into every meal or snack. Committing to eating healthy meals as a family can positively shape your child’s relationship with food.
- Make a resolutions board to map your progress and encourage each other! – Brainstorm with your family about the things you want to accomplish this year. Get crafty and map individual and group goals on a board. Add pictures of your time together and make a collage of things you want to do and things you’ve accomplished. Hang it so that everyone can enjoy making this year the most special year yet!