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10 New Years Resolutions for the Whole Family
It is a little more difficult to break a New Year’s resolution when you have more than yourself to consider. So with that in mind, why not include the whole family in establishing some New Years resolutions. By having the whole family participate in New Years resolutions each member can hold each other accountable. Having the whole family participate in establishing New Years resolutions is a great way to teach the kids to set goals. Let’s take a look at some family New Years resolution ideas.
De-clutter the Home and Get Organized
1. The new concept for the home is now “less is more.” A de-cluttered home means a de-cluttered mind and state of being. Start with a closet then widen your de-cluttering going from room to room. Set aside an area in the house where you are placing your items to either give away, trash, or for yard sales. Don’t allow your give away items to stay around the house for long because there are some family members, including yourself, that might change their minds about giving away some of the items and want to keep them. Plan your yard sale too.
Begin a Family Savings Plan
2. You may do this individually or as a family. Ask each member, who is able to participate, what he or she prefers to do. Save for a family vacation or save for an item that the whole family can enjoy. If each family member wants to save individually then have a place in the house where each individual has a container only he or she can access in order to save their money. This is a great way to teach the children how to save money and a good habit to have.
Volunteer as a Family
3. Lead by example and just don’t send the kids out to volunteer. Parents should let their kids see their concern for the community. Volunteer at your kids’ school, at a soup kitchen, or at a local charity. As a family you can send care packages to our military personnel. Get involved in sending care packages to needy children. As a family you may support a health walk such as cancer or lupus.
Exercise as a Family
4. Join a family walking club or have a play date together. Set the frequency that your family will exercise together – it doesn’t matter what days. Turn exercise into a habit for your family.
Readers are Leaders
5. Read together. Allow the younger children to lead the reading charge. Alternate by Mom or Dad reading a page then let the children read a page. Express yourself! If you have to be silly to be a character in a book then do it. Change your voice; read with an accent, if the character you’re reading about sings, then sing. Please remember not to make reading time a requirement. If the family does not feel like reading at the time don’t force it, but encourage a better time for everyone. Don’t forget to read books the family loves or wants to read. Notice I said the family wants to read. Here are some literacy links where you’ll find literacy games and ideas about good books to read.
- Reading Rockets – readingrockets.org
- Reading is Fundamental – rif.org
- Literacy Connections – literacyconnections.com
- Parents’ Choice Foundation – parents-choice.org
- Read Write Think – readwritethink.org
6. Have you and your family ever wanted to try something new? Just do it. Would all of you like to learn how to fish, swim, or sail? Contact fishing, swimming, or sailing clubs. Look for family discounts as well. Check out your local community center to see what family activities are offered.
Cook Together as a Family
7. For most families it’s Mom that cooks by herself in the kitchen, but cooking should be a family affair. With the kids involved start with something simple like pizza then move up to maybe baked chicken. There is an art to cleaning and cutting up a whole chicken A fun thing to do is to make different nights a theme. Tuesdays could be taco night, Mondays can be meatless Mondays, Fridays could be fritters night and so on. Plan your meals with your kids and take them grocery shopping.
Family Game Night Sounds Great
8. Let the kids choose the games. Turn off the TV or computer for a few hours. Get educational games that can hone physical and mental skills. Play Scrabble or a strategic game like Battleship. Twister is a great game that stretches the body and tests agility and strength. Even invite some friends to enjoy the fun. Don’t forget the food.
Recycle, Reuse and Reduce as a Family
9. With your family look around the house to see what can be reused and/or recycled. Take a tip from restaurants that use cloth napkins; instead of buying paper napkins make or purchase cloth napkins for you family to use. Minimize or eliminate the use of paper grocery bags and keep a supply of cloth grocery bags.
Build a Family Home Library
10. Most families have very little books in the home and don’t purposely seek out books. There is evidence that shows that the number of books in a home helps to determine how far a child will go in school. According to a study, children’s homes that are filled with books are at “as great an advantage as having university-educated rather than unschooled parents, and twice the advantage of having a professional rather than an unskilled father.” For homes with children that even have at least 25 books were likely to complete two more years of school than those children whose homes did not have any books. More proof has been evidenced that when a child is provided with plenty of books for summer reading that the child is less likely to fall behind their peers over the long summer break. There are several avenues in which families can fill their homes with books.
- Book festivals are great ways to obtain books.
- Thrift stores are good as well to find very inexpensive books. Some books can cost from a dime, a quarter, with some costing even one dollar.
- Yard sales and/or special book sales. Libraries, schools, and other organizations have book sales to clear out older books and make way for newer books.
- Exchange parties are great to give away books that children have grown out of. You can organize book exchange parties with other parents and their kids can go home with new reading picks.
- If you are giving your child a birthday party, ask parents to include a book as a gift. In the invite have a list of books that your child would like to read.
- Ask friends and family if they have books they no longer want. Send out an e-mail blast asking for books.
- Learn to download free books. There are websites that offer free e-books. Your home library can contain hard copy and electronic books.
- Stagger your book purchases. Purchase books at certain intervals maybe every quarter.
- Write your own short stories. This is a great way to get the family’s creative writing juices going.