Any resolutions should be created by the parent and child together, not imposed on the child by mom or dad, says psychologist Wendi Fischer.
Ask the child, “Is there anything you would like to do differently?” If they can’t come up with anything, ask, “What is something you wish I wouldn’t nag you about?”
Here are other tips from Fischer and therapist Don Sinkfield:
▪ Make resolutions specific — instead of saying, “Keep your room clean,” make the resolution, “From now on we don’t see your sneakers out in the hall.”
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▪ Take what you think the child can do, and make it a little less. If he talks about practicing the violin for 30 minutes a day, make it 15, or 30 minutes three times a week. That gives the child a chance for success. He can always surpass the goal, but you want him to meet it. Consider a reward if he or she keeps the resolution through January to establish a habit.
▪ Consider morning routines. Resolve to organize something that causes morning stress.
▪ Talk about possible healthy habits. Resolve, for instance, to drink a glass of water every day before afternoon snack.
▪ Improve the homework routine.
▪ Don’t forget to ask the child what he or she wishes the parents would resolve to do as well. Make New Year’s resolutions a win-win situation for the whole family.