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Parenting Resolutions for 2016  

Since this is kind of a New Year’s issue, I thought I would fill this space with some suggestions for resolutions to make, or goals to work on as parents in 2016. I’m not really a fan of the resolution format and prefer to think about goals or trying to bring more of some quality or behavior into life. Here are my three suggestions for you to try in 2016.

Focus on the relationship. Parents are often so focused on how their children are doing that they lose sight of one of the most important thing they can give to their children – a good relationship with them. It is easy to become so busy making sure they get their homework done, do as well as they can in school, develop the skills they need for sports and extracurricular activities, and have good relationships with peers that time to focus on your own emotional connection to your kids falls away. Take time to spend with your kids for no other purpose than to enjoy them, and for them to enjoy you.

Keep up your end of the conversation. It is easy to get caught up in trying to have an impact on your kids with every conversation, either seeking information about them or trying to teach them a lesson. Work on having some different types of conversations with them this year. Share more about you. Tell stories about your life, both growing up and now. Share things that excite you or even some of the things that you are concerned about (within limits – you don’t want to cause them worry). Your kids will benefit from knowing about your life. And you might be surprised that they start sharing more about themselves.

Make yourself a priority. I know. You are tired of hearing about this one. But it is important. You need to take care of yourself or you really won’t be worth much to anyone, including your kids. Pursue a goal for yourself, get a regular massage, take some extra time at the gym. Whatever will contribute to your own health and well-being. Everything else you do, including your parenting, will be better because of it.