As we turn the calendar to January, people are often motivated to set health, fitness, and monetary goals. It is also an opportune time to consider setting some parenting goals for the upcoming year.
5 NEW YEARS parenting RESOLUTIONS:
- Spend more time outside as a family. No matter the weather, there are numerous benefits to getting outside with your child, including increased opportunities for cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. Fresh air and movement are wonderful for maintaining a healthy body and encouraging a curious mind, and outdoor activities foster strong connections between parents and children.
- Read more. Besides opportunities for snuggling and bonding with your child, reading aloud to your child promotes language development, encourages future reading skills, and lays the foundation for building empathy. Even if it’s a few minutes each day in the morning or the evening, make reading time a priority for the new year.
- Take advantage of Prime Times. When juggling work and family, it can feel challenging to carve out large chunks of playtime with your children each day. Commit yourself to being present and playful during even the small, everyday moments with your child. At Bright Horizons we call these moments Prime Times.
- Ask more open-ended questions. During car rides or over a meal, practice asking your child open-ended questions to encourage thoughtful conversation. “What do you play today? What was something that was tricky for you today? What would you do if…?" These kinds of questions inspire your child to share details about their day and how they are feeling.
- Practice self-care and ask for help. There are no prizes or trophies at the end of the year for parents and caregivers who are the most drained and burned out. Ask your partner, friends, relatives, or neighbors for help when you feel exhausted or overwhelmed. Small moments of self-care, such as taking a walk alone, stretching, or doing deep breathing, can often provide the energy and attitude shift needed to commit to the above goals. Taking care of yourself is not selfish, it is an act of love for yourself that you are modeling for your child.
Happy new year to you and your family!