Menu
How to help your kids make meaningful New Year’s resolutions

As the year ends, everyone’s attention quickly turns from Christmas to New Year's resolutions, and we are bombarded with talk of getting fitter, happier and healthier. There is always room for improvement, and January is a great time to endeavor to be a better version of yourself.


However, New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be confined to you. They can in fact become a family affair! As your kids grow up there are huge benefits to teaching them how to set their own resolutions—it teaches them goal-setting and planning, and can strengthen the family unit as a whole.

Here are some tips on teaching your kids how to set New Year’s resolutions:

Start with a family meeting

Making resolutions with your children can be fun and exciting—a time for growth, change, and family bonding. I recommend that the first thing you do with your kids is to sit down and have a casual family meeting where you ask open-ended questions such as:

  • What do you love about our family?
  • What bothers you about our family?
  • What do you wish we did more of?
  • What will make your life better and happier?

In my coaching practice I often hear the same complaints over and over again, ranging from lack of sleep, discipline and time. Setting New Year’s resolutions can be a way of incorporating the changes you want to see in your day-to-day family life.

An open dialogue with your children can be valuable as it may teach you something new about yourself as an individual and as a parent.

Treat it like a casual therapy session

You know why New Year’s resolutions are so awesome? Because they make us take a look at ourselves, our loved ones, our families, our behavior and how we interact with one another.

It's probably the only time of the year where we are practically forced to have a casual therapy session with ourselves, and that is a really great thing! Not only do parents benefit from making positive declarations to improve themselves, it means our children get to witness happiness and positivity in those they love most. When you lead by example to initiate change, your children will follow.

Teach persistence + patience

Did you know it takes six weeks to create a habit? Well, a New Year's resolution is simply a declaration of a new habit. It’s useful to know that it takes six diligent weeks of discipline and focus to achieve your goals. Rome was not built in a day, and your kids need to know this! Focus, determination and patience are all values that will strengthen the family unit.

Be realistic

I recommend you encourage goals that are within reach, so your family does not get discouraged. The point of New Year’s resolutions is not to make a huge list of goals and not follow through. This will just make you and your kids feel bad!

If you start with just one resolution, for example tightening up your family's schedule or getting better sleep, the smaller issues will quickly fall into place.

As a family, I suggest you take a fresh sheet of paper and write down each resolution with a large space after it. In this space, insert real examples of behavior you'd like to tweak. Be as concrete, specific and manageable as possible.

Just saying, "I promise not to yell at you if you need an extra five minutes to tie your shoes" will not work. Instead say, "I promise if you need an extra five minutes I will walk away so you aren't stressed by my presence." Then do it!

Resolutions bring families closer, especially when you decide to set goals together. And if any family out there is struggling with their resolutions, may I suggest the simplest one of all? Help your mother with the chores!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this

Shop

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

Keep reading Show less
Life

Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play