new year resolutions

5 Parenting Resolutions for the New Year

So many times, I’ve made resolutions for the New Year. Usually, they’re pretty generic and broad; lose weight (with no goal or plan in sight), get organized (again with no plan!) or be a better spouse or parent (what does that even mean?)

I’ve found, over the years, that the most successful of my resolutions happen when I haven’t made a hundred different resolutions, and when they involve a plan and not just a wish.

One of my hopes and resolutions this year is to be a better parent; this can look like a lot of things, though, so if this is your wish as well, you need to break down exactly what that means to you. Maybe it’s to read more books to your preschooler, or stop talking down to your preteen. Maybe it means being more fun, or simply being more present.

My goal for the new year is to be a better, more present parent who tells her children she loves them more often. There’s a few things I’ve looked at that will help me accomplish that goal.

  1. Stop comparing myself to other parents. This is a difficult one, especially for moms of very young children. We compare belly pictures when we’re pregnant, birth stories and milestone achievements of our newborns. We say it in a way that sounds like we’re bragging on how superior we or our children are. In reality, what we’re really saying is, “I hope I’m not messing up too badly!” But sometimes, comparing ourselves to other people brings us down. I don’t make my child’s baby food! becomes more important than My baby is getting the food and nutrition he needs. I wish I could afford to stay home with my child gets run through our mind rather than I am doing a good job helping to provide for my family. Comparison is the thief of joy, and it doesn’t do anything positive for your life.
  2. Stop competing with other parents. One of the results of comparison is competition. Half the time, the people you are competing against don’t even know they are in the competition! Trying to one-up another mom or family is typically just going to hurt you. It is so much more difficult and different trying to keep up with the Jones’ when it involves kids, and not just you.
  3. Stop worrying so much. I’m a worrier. I worry when I hear a bump in the night; I worry when my child has had a runny nose for longer than I think is normal; I worry when I don’t feel like I think I should. Do you know what all the worry has accomplished in my life? Nothing! Not a single thing. Now, this is not a genuine concern about something that just doesn’t seem right to you; I had an instance where my 18 month old regressed from walking to crawling to dragging her leg on the floor in a span of about two weeks. That’s worth the worry and the multiple doctor visits! But worry for the sake of worry? Not worth it!
  4. Stop feeling guilty. I have a hard time with this one. I feel guilty sometimes when my kids don’t eat as much fruit as they are supposed to, or they go to bed without brushing their teeth. I feel guilty when one gets something special and the others don’t. But really, this is just part of life. And life goes on, teeth brushed or not. I need to stop trying to be the perfect mom and feeling guilty when I’m not!
  5. Start verbally loving more. This one should go without saying, but that’s the problem; I don’t say it very often. I love my kids, but words of affirmation or encouragement are not my love language, so I often don’t use them on other people. I’m more of an Acts of Service kind of girl, but my kids don’t always know that when I make dinner or brush out the tangles on the doll’s hair that what I’m really doing is saying “I love you. So I need to work on verbally expressing my love and appreciation more. Don’t hav any idea what I’m talking about when I say Love Language? Check out this book, The Five Love Languages or The Five Love Languages of Children.

I hope that when you set out to make your resolutions or goals for the new year, you’ll take into account your parenting goals. Realize that you’re really a pretty good parent (don’t compare!) and just try to love your kids more. That’s what they really want, you know.

2 Comments

  • Julie December 22, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Love these. yes the comparison game is a sticky one. Would love yo see you link this up to my gratitude and goals linky.

    Reply
  • Tracey January 8, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Love these parenting goals for the new year! Number 1 is an ongoing struggle for me, so I appreciate being reminded to not let it get the best of me! 😉

    Reply

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