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Making Resolutions that Last


By Megan Gilbreath

With the end of another year, we all look back and laugh, wondering what happened to those New Year’s resolutions we made on January 1st.

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There were plans to get thinner, healthier, and happier. Such great intentions! But with another new year, comes setting those new goals.

This year, how about putting a twist on traditional New Year’s resolutions and establish goals focusing on how you can better yourself, so you can better your kids. Here are five resolutions that you can set into motion, in order to cultivate admirable character in your children. Added bonus? When you hit these goals, they’ll last your child’s lifetime.

1. Workout and eat right.

Yes, we said no traditional New Year’s resolutions, but how else will you keep the kiddos in order without having enough energy to race after them? Trade the morning coffee for a morning run and not just your body will thank you, your kids will too. Before you know it, chase and tag will become a breeze.

2. Inspire, don’t demand.

We all want our kids to be the very best. We discipline for kindness, honesty, courage and so much more. But we must remember that there is a fine line between pushing our kids to be better and just pushing our kids. When you are trying to shape your child’s behavior, be sure to inspire your kids to be the best they can be, not just demand and bark orders.

3. Give your child more of you.

More often than not, a spike in tantrums or endless hours of whining aren’t just a phase, but your child’s way of sending you a message: I need more of you and more of your attention. Of course our to-do lists can run for miles, but be sure your children are at the top of the list. Putting your phone down and going on a tech-diet may not be a bad idea, helping you to be more present when you’re in your child’s company.

4. Listen with intention.

Kids have a funny way of getting excited over itty-bitty things, rambling and rambling over something so minute. Sometimes it can be the cutest thing in the world, and other days we just don’t have the time or the patience for engaging in childish conversations. But our mmhm’s and uh-huh’s may be short-handing the kiddos. It’s important that kids feel their thoughts and opinions matter. By putting more effort into silly kiddie conversations and spending time answering their never-ending questions—you’ll let your child know his thoughts and feelings matter to you.

5. Laugh more.

From dusk till dawn, mommies and nannies put full-effort into making sure everyone is taken care of and happy. Yet, some days don’t go as smoothly as we would have hoped. We get down on ourselves that there’s laundry still left to do, or frustrated that a fight between the kids got out of hand. But the reality is we must stop being so hard on ourselves. As long as you put your best efforts forward and have a great attitude, it’s alright if things don’t go perfectly every day.

As you tackle your New Year’s resolutions, keep the focus not on just bettering yourself, but bettering yourself for your kids. Remember, when you take care of yourself, you’re better able to take care of everyone else—especially those little ones who need you most.

Megan Gilbreath is a California college student pursuing journalism and public relations. She is also a working nanny who spends her time caring for two toddlers who keep her busy and joyful as she navigates caretaking through their medical conditions of high functioning autism and developmental delay. Connect with Megan on Twitter @meganrgilbreath.

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