New Years Resolution - Helping Kids Change Ineffective Behavior

Sticking to a New Years resolution can help you make changes in your life. Making a commitment to change and taking steps toward it, sets a precedent for personal growth in your family, which is an excellent way to inspire your children's development of abilities and consciousness. This past New Year's Day, I taught my boys how to make actionable resolutions that are already helping them to make lasting changes in their lives. It's exciting! Read on and you'll learn how to empower your children with self-growth tools that will serve them now and in the future.

During breakfast on New Year's Day, my boys and I talked about how the new year is a symbol for a new beginning. As individuals, we all have goals that we are working on and aspects of our behavior that we would like to change. This is why it is a tradition to make New Years resolutions. We reflect on the old and determine if we're on course. Using this as a guideline, I invited my boys to reflect on the past year and decide if there was anything in their lives they would like to change.

My eldest son said that he'd like to "not get so angry." Although he has no difficulty expressing anger and doesn't have an issue with it in his relationships, it does present a problem in sports. If he misses a play he thinks he should have had, he gets mad at himself and struggles to let it go. His tendency to ruminate prevents him from being present, which means one missed play can lead to a string of them.

After listening to his older brother, my youngest son blurted out that he needed to "not bug people." He was referring to how much he pesters his big brother, even after being asked repeatedly to stop.

I was pleased that my boys chose important areas for self-improvement and told them now I would show them how to make each of their goals into a working New Years resolution. This is a process that most people don't understand, so I explained it and the reasoning behind before asking them to try it out.

First, I pointed out that they had stated their New Years resolution in terms of what they did not want. I asked them to restate what they wanted to achieve in positive terms. (Many people struggle to turn a negative into a positive, which shows what a negative focus they have, so the boys' willingness to play with this was important.) After a little thinking, my eldest son said, "I will let go of my anger when playing sports." And my youngest son decided on "I will respect other people's limits."

To learn why these resolutions weren't quite sufficient, read the rest of
New Years Resolution

Parenting Magazine

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