Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
Happy 2015! There is something empowering about the idea of making New Year resolutions and starting fresh on January 1st. Many of us make resolutions that focus on improving ourselves. In fact, usa.gov compiled a list of consistently popular resolutions, some of which include intentions to: get fit, save money, and manage stress. Sound familiar? These are all great resolutions for adults, and are viable lifestyle changes that can enrich children’s lives as well. By making New Year’s resolutions as a family, kids of all ages can learn self-discipline and how to set goals. To keep it simple and give them the best chance of achieving their resolutions, it’s smart to choose ones that are small, specific and measurable.
As soon as they can walk without tumbling, you can help them develop active lifestyle habits by encouraging outdoor playtime. Consider getting them involved in an active sport or hobby that they enjoy, as well as going on walks/hikes together as a family when the weather gets warmer. Example resolution: “I will go outside and play for at least 30 minutes when I get home after school.”
By age 5, most children are usually ready to start learning about the value of a dollar. This is a good time to begin giving them a small allowance. This earning privilege is more powerful when given with guidance on how to save money and learning to give back. It is also an ideal time to teach them about tithing. Example resolution: “I will save half of my allowance and give at least quarter to my church offering.”
Though they may not have as many responsibilities as adults, kids need to develop smart stress management habits early on in life. Use your wisdom gained from age, and teach them how to better manage time, avoid procrastination, and how to depend on the Lord for strength and peace of mind. Example resolution: “I will say my prayers and (for older kids) read one chapter of the Bible every day this year.”
Your whole family can make the most of 2015’s opportunities and have a lot of fun while doing it!