Claire’s Top Tips
New Years Parenting Resolutions
Try a new twist to your 2013 New Years’ resolutions by making them all about how you raise your children. Here are some ideas for parenting resolutions, try these or think up your own.
Top Tip One
Resolve to play more. Caring for children gives you a great excuse to be childlike and playful yourself. Try joining in their finger painting, chasing round the park, playing at the pool or making messy food together in the kitchen. You’ll enjoy letting loose and your children will love it that you’re taking part.
Top Tip Two
Put extra attention onto your child’s education. Increase your confidence to get further involved with school projects or homework by learning more about the subjects your children are taking. Talk to their teachers or log onto www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ to check out the curriculum. Remember do support your child but don’t do their homework for them.
Top Tip Three
Look after yourself. It’s great to spend plenty of time doing things with your children but parents need a little adult company too. So resolve to set aside time this year to spend with your friends, family or partner, but without the children so you can let your hair down.
Top Tip Four
Foster children’s independence. Set aside some time to teach your children a few more of the life skills you feel are important. Match what you teach to your child’s age and ability, from younger children learning to make a sandwich to teenagers getting used to putting on the washing machine or managing their pocket money each skill will build their self confidence. It may also be time to set up a chores rota to get children to take a more active role in the daily routines of family life. When children help around the house you are teaching them to be self-sufficient and responsible for themselves.
Top Tip Five
Resolve not to ‘sweat the small stuff’. It’s easy to become stressed by everyday issues, such as children not clearing up their toys, leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor or using all your luxury bubble bath. Get these in perspective, they’re minor irritants. Save your energy for the big issues, such as making sure your children are safe and come in on time, do their homework and stop fighting long enough to get along with their brothers and sisters.
Top Tip Five
Make family life more organised. After the excitement of Christmas it can be useful to re-establish routines, such as times for homework and bedtimes. Having a simple, clear daily schedule, and a regular bedtime routine helps children feel secure and gets them into the habit of going to bed on time.
Top Tip Six
Make it a rule to have fun together. Try to find time everyday to appreciate each other, share a story or a laugh and forget the chores and rush for a moment.
If you’re having trouble coming up with parenting resolutions try asking your children what they’d like you to do differently. Use their ideas to help set your goals.