Expert Parent Advice

Three Parenting Resolutions for Any Time of the Year

What’s on your plate for the New Year?  Many of us have the best intentions of cutting back on potato chips or Facebook time, but how about instead resolving to nix all the yelling, whining and power struggles that happen every day in our homes?  That may sound like the impossible dream, but it’s not!

I’m Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, and I’m proud to partner with Kids ‘R’ Kids for the Expert Parenting Advice series.

Today, we’re talking about three simple strategies for the New Year – or anytime during the year.  I encourage you to resolve to do these three things for a more harmonious family within a few days. 

Resolution #1: I resolve to get everyone helping out around the house.

Tired of the endless nagging it takes to get your kids to pitch in on even the smallest task? This year, make nagging a thing of the past. Instead, hold a family meeting to divvy up the responsibilities. Even 3-year-olds can help sort socks and feed the pets, while a 12-year-old can clean a bathroom or mow the lawn. Then, hold them accountable using appropriate consequences.

Not only does this kind of system help take the load off your back, but also your children will pick up valuable skills and benefit from feeling capable and independent.

Resolution #2: I resolve to make better use of routines.

Some parents struggle with holding kids to bedtime and morning routines, but savvy parents will use them to the whole family’s advantage in the New Year. The key is to structure the routine so that all the business gets finished before the fun.  For instance, if you have trouble getting kids out the door in the morning, refuse to dish up toast or eggs until beds are made, hair is brushed and backpacks are by the door. Dawdlers or protesters may end up missing breakfast, but you can be sure it won’t happen more than once or twice before they get the picture.

It works for homework, chores and bedtime, too.  In fact, check out the interactive that goes along with this video for ideas on how to use routines to avoid power struggles about homework, chores and bedtime. 

Resolution #3: I resolve to spend one-on-one time with each child every day.

If you only pick one resolution this year, this is the one that will give you the biggest bang for your buck, and it’s called Mind, Body and Soul Time. By spending even ten minutes with each child every day, getting into their world, doing whatever they love to do, you’ll make emotional connections and give your kids a big dose of positive attention that they want and need. 

It’s best if you can let your child pick the activity – you even might find yourself constructing dinosaurs out of Play-Doh™ or wearing a tiara, but that’s okay.  You’ll love the emotional connections you’ll build, and also love how cooperative your child will suddenly become after just a few days of Mind, Body and Soul Time. 

This year, resolve to make these three changes in your family and get results you’ll enjoy for years to come.

For ongoing solutions to your parenting challenges, visit us often at  I’m Amy McCready for Kids ‘R’ Kids, and I’ll see you next time.