This is the time of year when many people make resolutions for the coming year. Unfortunately, this often produces incredibly ambitious goals that don't survive the month. Let's try to make some resolutions that the family can maintain. This will not only achieve the desired results but it will also teach the kids to follow through with their goals.
I'll list some ideas below:
1. Increase Physical Activity. Exercise is a passion for some, dreaded by others. If your family is more in the latter camp, just aim for at least 60 minutes of "moderate to vigorous" physical activity during the day. This can include actual exercise or alternatives like sports, dance, gymnastics, walking, biking, or active games. Increasing kids' physical activity will not only keep them healthy, it'll also help with behavior and learning.
2. Increase Healthy Eating. Set targets that can be met and made part of your daily lives. For example, set goals to eat more fruits and vegetables, to decrease sweets and sugary snacks, or to drink more water and less sugary drinks. Setting specific targets (e.g., 2 fruits per day) will help. Similarly, the more you can get kids involved in the food selection and preparation, the more likely they'll participate (and yes, I realize your kids may be of the age or mindset that even thinking about getting them in the kitchen starts a migraine but you can have them help identify healthy foods and set the menus).
3. Track and Reward. Everyone is more likely to participate and maintain resolutions if they're tracked and rewarded. Feel free to print the chart below to help your kids keep track.
4. Get Adequate Sleep. Proper sleep is one of the simplest yet most productive steps we can take with kids, benefitting their health, mood, behavior, and learning capacity.
5. Increase Learning in Fun Ways. The key here is fun. Kids already go to school so how can we help them learn, while making it fun? Think of goals like a monthly family trip to a museum or historical site. Can you set a target for fun (non-school) books per month? What interests your children and works for your family? And don't forget about rewards!
Are you a little fuzzy on expert recommendations for kids' health and nutrition? Check out this previous post for a quick refresher.
Happy New Year to all of you! What resolutions do you have for your family? Please share on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page or tweet me @mrhattigan!