Helping Your Child Set New Years Resolutions for 2023
With the start of the new school year approaching, we thought we would discuss the importance of setting goals for the new year. Whether you want to label these as “New Year Resolutions” with your children or simply just goals for 2023, having your children create their own goals for the new year is a great way to kick start the year with motivations and enthusiasm for the year ahead. Below we’ve outlined 4 steps to take to help set your child’s new year resolutions in 2023.
- Start by talking about the positive successes from last year. For example, perhaps they were able to perform more difficult moves in ballet, or run farther at little athletics. Maybe they are now able to play a difficult piece of music on their violin or wire a battery to make a LED light up. Whatever your child is interested in, discuss how far they came last year and their accomplishments. This process itself (without even setting a new year resolution) is a great way to celebrate and bring positive light to the outcomes from last year. It can help motivate and encourage children to work harder and push themselves to achieve more in the new year.
- Now it’s time to chat about the new year. Ask are some things they would like to do this year? Both in relation to current interests and for new things. What would they like to improve on from last year? Is there anything they would like to become better at?
If your child is apprehensive about a particular subject because they think they are bad at it, now is the time to remind them of the successes from step 1 – and how hard work and dedication caused those successful outcomes. Perhaps if they worked hard in the area they think they are bad at, they might surprise themselves with great achievements this year!
- Guide the conversation by offering different categories that your child might want to work on in the new year. For example, school goals, sports goals, music goals, friendship goals, personal goals. This can help spark conversation and ideas from your child.
Do not dictate resolutions! This is important. Children need to feel like they have ownership and responsibility for creating and achieving these goals. You can help guide and clarify goals (and also ensure they are age-appropriate), but giving your child the responsibility to set the goal themselves teaches them ownership as well as planning skills.
- Finally, make sure the resolution is SMART.
Specific – make the goal specific by helping narrow in on any broad discussions. For example, your child might say they want to be better at sport this year. This can be made more specific by saying “I am going to become better at goal shooting in netball this year”.
Motivating – your child must be interested in achieving the goal. This ties back into step 3 about not dictating your child’s resolutions. If your child sets the goal because they have an interest in achieving it, they are more likely to remain optimistic and motivated to complete it.
Attainable – help guide your child’s new years resolutions so they are achievable. For example, wanting to get A+’s on all their Mathematic tests by the end of the year might not be achievable if they are currently getting D’s. Perhaps start by offering a goal which is more attainable; like aiming for B’s in all tests by the end of the year.
Relevant – the idea of setting new years resolutions is to achieve something that will better them in some area of their life. Eating five Happy Meals isn’t really a relevant goal, but building a solar car is! You can help keep goals relevant using step 3 to guide the conversation using different categories to spark interest.
Trackable – finally, the goal needs to be measurable. How will you be able to track progress through the year? How will you know when the goal is achieved? Being able to track progress through the year can help keep your child motivated as they will be able to see the success unfolding. And of course, measuring the goal so you can celebrate when the goal is reached is incredibly important for your child’s development and recognition of planning and hard work.
Why not sit down with your children tonight and discuss what goals they want to set for 2023? And remember to share your goals with us in the new year – we’d love to hear what goals (academic or not) you are striving towards!