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Mindful New Year’s Goals for Kids

Experts agree that making goals, whether they are for the new year or at other times, is a good idea for kids as young as preschool age. As we step into the new year and make our own resolutions or intentions for the coming year, it’s a good time to introduce our children to the idea of making mindful new year’s resolutions. One way you can introduce your kids to the concept of mindfulness is to read Kelly Caleb’s Now Cow books on mindfulness to or with them.

What are the benefits of kids making resolutions?

Making New Year’s resolutions can be a great way for kids to learn about setting goals and obtaining a sense of agency over their lives. They’re a way for your child to participate in a tradition if your family follows this one. They’re also a way for your kid to experience a sense of accomplishment as they check off each small step they make toward their goal. Families can work together towards goals, making New Year’s resolutions a positive family activity. Whether you have a goal together or you each have individual goals, families can cheer each other along and encourage one another when someone slips and needs to get back on the path.

What are good resolutions for kids?

Before suggesting a resolution for your child, ask them if they have any ideas. They may already have a great goal in mind, such as making new friends or cleaning their room more often. Encourage these goals and talk to your kid about how they can work on it throughout the year. Help them think of small steps they can take, like sitting next to a different kid at lunchtime or picking up their dirty clothes every morning before school.

On the other hand, a child may have a goal that isn’t exactly what you would choose for them, like eating more chocolate or not sharing their new toys with their siblings. If your kid picks a goal like this, talk to them about the kinds of goals that you would choose and the purpose of goals—to be a better person and make better choices. Steer them around to choosing a positive, acceptable goal.

If your child doesn’t have a specific goal in mind, here are a few that work for kids of all different ages that they could choose from:

  • I will eat a fruit or vegetable with every meal.

  • I will improve my grades in [subject].

  • I will study my notes every day after school.

  • I will improve my hand-washing habits.

  • I will run for school president.

  • I will watch less TV.

  • I will be more active on weekends.

  • I will be more organized.

  • I will read more.

Each of these goals has the benefit of helping your child be more mindful about the world around them or their health and habits. There are tons of other goals the two of you could come up with based on your kid’s life and hopes for the future.

Mindful Resolutions That Stick

Finally, you will want to help your child set up an accountability system they can use to keep focused on their goal throughout the year. This can be a notebook or day planner full of small steps they can take towards reaching the final goal, or it can be a tracker to mark down every time they demonstrated the goal behavior.

Don’t let their pursuit of the goal become a reason to nag them, however. Encourage them, but if they let go of their goal, remember, they can always start again next week, month, or year. Celebrate their victories and let them know how proud you are of them for wanting to be a better, more mindful person.

To help your child learn more about mindfulness, you can read Kelly Caleb’s Now Cow books on mindfulness for children to or with them any time of the year. These books can even give your kid ideas for resolutions they might want to set for themselves!

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