These resolutions aren’t groundbreaking, by any means. In fact, their promises are so simple and universal as to be essential ingredients in every child’s life. So feel free to join me as we begin another year as parents, resolving to be the very best we can be for our children.
This year, I resolve to:
Accept my children without qualifications, not trying to change their inherent personalities to better fit my desires.
Say ‘I love you’ every single day without fail, never taking for granted that they know how loved they are.
Set aside a designated amount of time to spend interacting with each child, each day.
Show respect for my children’s thoughts, fears, and concerns by listening without judgment.
Ask questions that will draw my children into conversation, and be completely present in those conversations.
Not discount the youthful joy my children have for simple things.
Allow my children’s independence to flourish by letting them try new and difficult things, whether or not I think they’ll enjoy or excel at the experience.
Follow through with logical disciplinary strategies.
Lavish my children with physical affection every day.
Remember to speak praise for a job well done instead of only focusing on my children’s mistakes.
Allow my children to make mistakes without becoming overly angry, knowing that mistakes can lead to lessons learned.
Never forget that little eyes are watching my attitudes as well as my actions.
Read with my children every day.
Encourage dreams and creativity by outwardly acknowledging my own dreams and creative pursuits.
Get close to my children at the very moments that I am having the most difficulty connecting with them.
Look beyond my children’s negative reactions to the deeper causes of those reactions.
And perhaps most important of all, find a way to keep the children snug in their beds past sunrise on weekend mornings. Because if all else fails, restful sleep might still redeem us.
What did I leave out? What actions do you think more parents should resolve to take in the coming year?