Parenting New Year's Resolutions

Sunday January 6, 2013

By Amy Morin

Lots of parents have set parenting resolutions as they have rung in the New Year. And what a great resolution to set. Improving your parenting and focusing on your children can be one of the best goals ever.

Whether you've set a goal to spend more time with your child, to improve your discipline strategies or to be a better parent, there are things you can do to make your resolution a reality. Sadly, many resolutions come to an abrupt end rather quickly as the month of January passes by. But here are some steps you can take to really make sure that you stay focused on your parenting resolutions:

1. Pay attention to your child's needs. Although it may seem obvious, it's important to examine your child's behavior to ensure that your child is getting everything he needs. For example, make sure that any behavior problems fall within the realm of normal misbehavior and if it doesn't, take steps to get professional help.

2. Set measurable goals. If you simply say you want to be a better parent, how will you know if you're doing a good job or not? Instead, set goals such as "I want to spend 20 minutes a day playing with my child," or "I want to help my child learn to manage his aggression so he doesn't hit anymore."

3. Take action to meet your goal. Determine how you will make time to meet your goal and how you'll respond to your progress. For example, if you want to take your child on a weekly outing, how will you ensure that you make time for this? And if you skip out on a week or two, what will the consequence be? It can be helpful to set up consequences for yourself to keep you on track.

4. Don't give up. Unfortunately, sometimes people give up completely when they get a little off track. If you get off track, refocus and determine what steps you can do to stay motivated to reach your goals.

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