It’s nearly here: 2016.
How are you going to make it your family’s best year yet?
While resolutions are often made individually, don’t miss the opportunity to invite your kids in on the fun. Creating family resolutions can be a good way to not only bond with your kids right now but also set the stage to make memories in the months to come.
Resolution No. 1: Create a family tradition
Kids thrive on tradition. You probably do, too. Not only do they give you something to anticipate, but they also create happy memories you can be reminded of each time the tradition repeats.
If you don’t have any family traditions, 2016 is a good time to start. Don’t go overboard, or you might not follow through. Pick one or two traditions to start. Here are some ideas to get you and your kids brainstorming:
- Special breakfasts on birthdays
- Movie night once a month or week
- Game night once a month or week
- Holiday-specific activities such as a special meal or craft
- Evening walks when the moon is full
- Annual time capsule
Resolution No. 2: Cook together once a month
Cooking with kids is beneficial for two reasons: it promotes family bonding and also teaches an important life skill.
Maybe you don’t cook yourself. Then this resolution would be a good way for you and your kids to learn together. Borrow a basic cookbook from the library and head to the kitchen once a month to try your hand at a new recipe.
If you’re already a super cook, invite your kids to join you in the kitchen once a week. Select a night when you won’t be in a rush. They could help make the regular meal of the day or work on a dessert or special recipe of their choosing. It doesn’t matter. They will love being there with you.
Resolution No. 3: Have a monthly date
Make plans to go out once a month for some one-on-one time with your son or daughter. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. The fast food play area can work, although older kids may prefer to see a movie or go to a museum.
The point is to spend some time alone with your child. If you have multiple children, getting mom or dad’s undivided attention can be a rare treat in a busy household. However, even if you have a single child, he or she will likely enjoy some special time with you out of the house.
Let your child take the lead in deciding where to go or take turns planning the agenda.
Resolution No. 4: Make a money goal to manage together
Money management is a life skill many young adults seem to be lacking nowadays. Financial literacy is often not taught in schools, jobs for teens are drying up and parents seem hesitant to share any details of their finances with their children. It all adds up to kids being sent out into the world with little to no understanding of how to budget, save and spend wisely.
Make a resolution that this year you’ll help your child learn more about how money works. The best way to do that is to give him or her some hands-on experience. Select a money goal you can work on together, even if you’re the one providing all the money. For example, depending on their age, they may be able to help with the budget and planning for a birthday party or a family vacation.
Resolution No. 5: Plan an annual adventure
Speaking of family vacations, make a resolution to plan an adventure of some kind in 2016. It doesn’t have to be expensive or even all that involved. Heading to a new museum or camping in the backyard can qualify.
Stepping outside your normal routine can be an excellent way to bring family members of all ages together for some serious memory-making.
Resolution No. 6: Find an outside activity for the family
By outside, we’re talking about an activity that will take you out of the house. Unless you have serious air quality issues in your area, spending time in the great outdoors is a proven way to improve both your physical and mental health.
Unfortunately, the days of sending kids outside to play seem to be long gone in many areas. Heavy traffic, lack of green space and friends holed up with homework or video games means there may not be much to do even if you do kick your kids out of the house for a day.
In today’s modern world, your best bet for getting the kids outside may be to take up a family activity involving lots of fresh air. Here are some ideas:
- Skiing, snowshoeing or sledding
- Frisbee golf
Resolution No. 7: Learn something new together
Finally, resolve to expand your horizons in 2016 and be sure to take your kids along for the ride. Find an activity that (most) everyone thinks would be fun and make it your goal to master it before the ball drops one year from now.
The sky’s the limit, but here are some ideas of what you could learn:
- New cooking techniques
- Furniture refinishing
- A new language
- Sewing or crafting
- DIY home repair
If your family is more into books, you could take turns selecting titles for the entire family to read and discuss. Or, for more of a challenge, you and your teens or adult children could try taking a free online college course, known as a MOOC.
Are you making resolutions with your kids this year? If so, leave a comment and or share what you have planned on our Facebook page.