The New Year is a time for making goals and looking ahead. That’s why we’re exploring 5 New Year Parenting Goals for a Happy Family Life.
When it comes to parenting, there are always new things to learn and improve on. You may want to work on being more patient, hands-on, and less distracted. Maybe you have the desire to be healthier by exercising, setting a good example for the kiddies, and meal-prepping each week. Whatever your goals are, the New Year is undeniably the best time to start making plans.
New Year’s resolutions are great, in theory. The trouble is that we often give up on them before we’ve even hit February.
We’re going to help you banish the New Years resolution blues by giving you five realistic pieces of parenting advice that you can actually follow in the New year!
5 New Year Parenting Goals for a Happy Family
1. Build Great Social Skills
One goal you can have for this year is to teach your children great social skills.
The things you teach your children when they are young will determine what sort of adult they will grow into. Therefore, teach them to respect other cultures and beliefs. Teach equality and help your children foster empathy for others.
Another great piece of parental advice is to get your kids talking. Communication is going to be your savior as a parent. The more your child is able to confide in you about their life, the better your relationship will be as they get older.
2. Schedule Quality Time Together
As important as it is for couples to spend quality time together, is it equally as important for parents to have a regular family day each week.
Spend your Sunday’s together as a family. Take turns planning outings, have a picnic, do a family movie night, or play tourists for the day. Build memories with them that they will never forget.
Family time is great, but don’t forget that kids need solo quality time as well. If you have more than one child, make sure you’re spending one-on-one time with them as well so that you can build a personal relationship.
Speaking of personal relationships, don’t overlook the relationship you have with your husband or wife. Having regular dates nights has been shown to boost marital friendship, satisfaction, and strengthen marriages.
Spending time with your spouse benefits your children, as well. Studies show that children function better when parents prioritize their relationship and spend quality time together.
Research also reveals that children in happy households with married parents will have higher levels of education than those who do not. They are also less likely to become teen parents and reduce the risk of developing mental health and behavioral problems.
If you and your partner are facing marital troubles, it can hinder your parenting aspirations. Before setting goals for parenting ensure that all is well in your relationship. In case of trouble, seeking help from a marriage therapist is essential.
3. Focus on the Positive
In the age of social media, it can be difficult not to compare yourself to other parents online. Why isn’t your house that clean? Why aren’t you that hands-on? How come they seem so joyful with their newborn and you feel so exhausted?
Seeing someone else’s “perfect” life can leave you focusing on the negative in your own parenting skills.
The truth is, the picture of parenthood you see on Instagram is hardly anyone’s reality.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, start focusing on the positive.
You are a loving parent who does your best. If there is something you want to change or parental advice you want to start following it, do it! You can’t change the past, but you can control what kind of parent you are in the future.
Studies show that parent outlook commonly affects child behavior. As you strive to look at the positive in life, you teach your children to do the same.
4. Unplug More Often
One great piece of parenting advice you can follow this year is to unplug more often.
Mobile phones can be handy, but they can also be extremely distracting. A study done by Baylor University found that 46.3% of the 308 adults polled said they felt snubbed by their partner in favor of a cell-phone.
Odds are if your partner is feeling ignored by your cell-phone use, your children probably are, too.
The last thing you would ever want to do is ignore your kids or make them feel like what’s on your screen is more important than spending time with them.
Instead of staying glued to your phone, spend your time and energy with your children and your spouse. Go out together and start making memories that you don’t have to document for social media.
As we get in the habit of making cell-phone use an everyday part of our lives, it can feel uncomfortable not sharing every little thing on social media or bombarding your family time with photos. But after a few evenings cell-phone-free, we guarantee your family will grow closer.
Many parents create a cell-phone schedule. An example of this might be putting your phones away after 7 PM or turning it off for an hour in the evening. This way you can spend more time focusing on family time.
Don’t ignore your children. Set aside time to unplug each and every day and enjoy your children while they’re little.
5. Make Healthier Choices
What would a resolution list be without the promise to eat healthier and take better care of your body?
There are so many benefits to eating better this year. Not only will you have more energy and reshape and tone your body, but you are also setting an amazing example for your kids.
The more your children see you making a habit out of regular exercise and eating healthy, the more likely they will be to mirror your good choices.
The best parenting advice you can take this year is to do what’s best for your children. Prioritize things that bring your family closer together, like putting away your phones and having regular family time together. In the end, this will make you better parents and a happier family.
Rachel Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com that supports healthy happy marriages.