I’m all about measurable resolutions, but in some instances, this just isn’t possible. One of my resolutions (that is starting before the end of the year because it just can’t afford to wait) is to be more attentive and try to be more mentally present.
There are lots of things you can do along those lines to be an even better parent in the coming year.
Put Down Your Phone
I’m totally guilty of this, but it’s definitely one of my resolutions for the New Year. When you’re nursing your baby or home alone with your kids, don’t spend all of your time on your phone! This is especially difficult if you work from home or run an online-based business, but it’s still just as important.
Your kids don’t care if you’re working on your phone or just looking at Facebook. They just know they’re not getting your full attention and that’s what they notice. Do you want your kids to remember you as the parent who always had their nose in their phone when you were building blocks or coloring?
Guilt-trip I know. Is it working?
Get Outside Everyday
Even when it’s cold, even when it’s rainy, I’m going to get the kids outside every single day. Our almost 2 year old begs to out “ow-si” and I’m going to make sure he gets more of what he wants this year. One day, I’ll be begging him to go outside instead of staring at a screen.
Start More Traditions
This can be a daily thing like reading a book before bed, or something around a holiday like going to see a festival of lights for Christmas, special breakfasts on birthdays, etc. Make this the year that you create some habits that will lead to lifelong memories for your kids.
E-Mail Your Kids
Create an Email Address for each of your kids – we have an e-mail for each of our kids and it’s been a weird relief for me to know I’m creating memories for our little ones.
Write out precious memories that you’re afraid you’ll forget and shoot an e-mail to their account. One day, you can give them the password and let them relive the memories you created together.
Appreciate Your Kids While They’re Little
I’ve written about this before (read my list of 9 tips here and my list of ways to appreciate sticky floors and kid messes here) but it deserves repeating again. Your kids are only little once. Do something every day to let them see how much you appreciate the stage of life they’re in. This might be laughing over a mess instead of yelling or dropping whatever you’re doing to get on the floor for a tea party.
Whatever it is, make time to do it. The dishes can wait. The kids won’t. They’ll grow up whether you like it or not.
Be a Happier Parent
If only it were that easy! As someone with depression, I can promise you that I understand it isn’t as simple as faking it til you make it, but there really is something to be said for “happiness isn’t something you find, it’s something you create.”
Do more of what makes you happy and include your kids.
Let them see your passion for what you’re doing. For me, sometimes that’s having my kids sit on my lap as I reach around them and talk excitedly about what I’m writing. Other times, that means having my toddler help me brainstorm new post ideas by scribbling all over the ones I’m writing down.
If hobbies are more your thing, go out and make some memories with your little ones and show them what you get so excited about! For my husband and I, that’s going camping and just doing things outdoors.
Just let them see you trying to find the good in every situation because that lays the groundwork for a much less stressful life for them down the road.
I know a lot of these tips are definitely easier said than done (I mean, who isn’t addicted to their phone??) but if there’s anyone who is worth the time and effort, it’s our kids. I challenge you to try to implement just one of these small tips in your home in the next year and watch as you reap the benefits!
What parenting New Year’s resolutions are you setting this year? Are there any you’d add to this list? Let me know in the comments!
Want accountability? Join me on Facebook and let me know what resolutions you’re trying to stick to!