A New Year can mean changes to our daily habits, schedules or mental health practices. However, as we emerge into 2023 what if you resolved to be the parent you have always dreamed? This decision could impact your family for years to come, while bringing with it the peace and joy you have always wanted in your home now. This does not have to be an all or nothing change. In fact, you can begin slowly by adding only one or two things every month on your schedule. So read on and discover 5 things you can do to help you to create a more unified and positive family in 2023.
- Schedule 10-15 minutes of real live face time with each child per day. You feel like you are with your kids all the time while doing the daily house chores or talking on the phone because you are in the same room, but that isn’t intentional. Instead, make a lasting impact by establishing some time and an atmosphere that is free of distractions (no phones). Take the time to talk with your children and really listen.
- Bedtimes are Non-Negotiable. Sleep is crucial. In fact, it has been shown that the mental health and academic success of children who do not get enough sleep, declines over time. Therefore, parents who let children stay up past bedtime risk future social and behavior issues. Happy, healthy, well adjusted kids are well-rested kids. So set a bedtime that you enforce each night.
- Model Positive Behaviour, Words Not Necessary. “Do as I say, not as I do” is as antiquated as it is useful. When parents are respectful and polite when speaking to their children, the children will learn to be the same way. Do you yell when telling your kids not to yell? Children hear and see everything you do; which is why it’s essential that you model your expectations.
- Give chores to each child. Children need to feel included and like they are helping. Chores are a great way to do that and can help build confidence and connectedness in the family and you are not required to pay your children to help either. The whole family has a responsibility to help, if you live here, you can help. So, assign your children age appropriate chores and give each child something they are responsible for completing to contribute to the household.
- Family Meetings. Bring the family together over pizza or fun foods and brainstorm together. This should be a focused family-only time free from distractions. When these family meetings are planned with intention, children learn that family is a priority, which in turn helps them feel safe and connected.
You don’t have to make big changes to make an impact, actually small changes like those above can make a lasting impression. Parents who take responsibility for patterns of behavior and make changes to create better habits, can improve the lives of their children and family. So be intentional, make some changes, you could end up reconnecting with your partner and your children for a closer and more unified family dynamic for the long haul.
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