We often enter the New Year reflecting on the past and setting new goals or resolutions. We are often focused on ourselves, and what we want to do differently as individuals this year. Whether it be eating healthier, exercising more, or quitting smoking, our resolutions are usually focused on just us.
This year, why not try making a family New Year’s resolution as well?
Setting a family New Year’s resolution is a great way to teach cooperation, team work, and goal getting, and build camaraderie. The great thing about making family resolutions is that together you can help each other stay on track.
Not sure what your family New Year’s resolution should be? Why not ask your family? Here is a list of New Year’s resolutions some of the families I know have made in the past year. Maybe one of them will be right for your family or inspire you to find one that is:
- Going (more) green
- Helping your children/child become more charitable
- Speeding up morning routines
- Spending more time together as a family
- Having a regularly scheduled family meeting
- Watching less TV
- Getting outside more
- Exercising more as a family
- Baking and/or cooking together
- Eating dinner together every night
For 2010, Darren and I resolved to both take part in Parker’s bedtime routine. It has resulted in some wonderful quality family time that we look forward to every day. With that in mind, we decided to add onto our dedicated family time by resolving to schedule unplugged family time for 2011.
Unplugged means time spent with the family without being distracted by the TV, computer, phone, cell phone, music, or video games, allowing us to really tune into being present, available, and in the moment. Between incoming texts, phone calls, and emails I’m pretty distracted most of the time. I run a home-based business, so I squeeze in the business wherever I can. And to be totally honest, I get bored of playing toddler games and sneak off to check Facebook, Twitter, or just read a blog sometimes too. Let’s face it, we are all pretty wired. Seriously, think about it: how often are we truly present these days?
We have a few ideas of the types of things we can do while we are unplugged. These might help your family to make the plunge into the unplugged world too:
- Play board games. As a couple we have a games night, which we hope to continue as a family once Parker is old enough.
- Get outside. A walk, a bike ride, or just a visit to the neighbourhood park can work, as long as you leave the cell phone at home or at least turn it off.
- Go sight-seeing. You don’t have to be on vacation to go sight-seeing. When was the last time you acted like a tourist in your own town?
- Crafts and art projects.
- Read a book together aloud – don’t forget to each take a turn reading or do those funny voices for each character.
If you need more ideas, pick up the book 365 Unplugged Family Fun Activities: A Year’s Worth of Ideas for TV-free, Video-free, & Computer Game-Free Entertainment by Steve & Ruth Bennett. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be a couple hours a day or one day a week or one day a month. But make sure you schedule it on your digital calendar!
Whatever your family’s New Year’s resolution is, remember it’s about working together to make your family a little bit better than it already is. Good Luck!
Sarah Joseph is the mother of one wonderful little boy and the wife to one fantastic guy. Sarah is the owner/operator of Prenatal to Parenting where she offers prenatal classes, doula services and facilitates parent support and education groups. In her spare time she volunteers as a birth doula with South Community Birth Program and serves on the Board of Directors for the Doula Services Association of BC.
Arts and Crafts, Balance, Consistent Care, Ecological Responsibility, Family Structure, Green Living, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Keeping Active, Love of Nature, Natural Learning, Parenting Philosophies, Playtime, Reading, Routines and Schedules