5 Parenting Resolutions to Start the New Year

New Year's Resolutions to Help You Become a Better Parent


The new year is a great time to embrace effective strategies that make your family happier and closer. Here are five parenting resolution thought-starters to help you, your children and the whole family succeed in the new year.


Resolve to be a positive role model. It's important to understand that your children will model much of their behavior after you. With this in mind, you should try your best to live as you would want your adult child to live. If you want them to treat their partner with respect; treat their mother or father with respect. If you want them to drink alcohol responsibly; drink alcohol responsibly. If you want your children to approach challenges and conflict with a calm, mature attitude; show them it's possible by providing a good example.


Resolve to empower your children. Kids develop an inner capacity to believe in themselves through little, everyday interactions with parents. They also develop resiliency, self-confidence and initiative, at least in part, through how they are taught and encouraged to overcome little challenges. You can support your children's ability to believe in themselves by praising them - not for their intelligence or natural gifts - but for showing honesty, courage or caring for others. You should also help your child focus on solutions instead of rescuing them from problems. Listen, support and encourage your children as they develop their own solutions, and do your best to teach them to learn from their mistakes.


Resolve to succeed. It's easy to approach the new year with ambitious plans to become a better parent. Unfortunately, these plans often change the first time we are confronted with frustration, disappointment, conflict or worry. This year, resolve to do whatever it takes to achieve your parenting goals. Put up posted reminders on your bathroom mirror; take breaks when you feel like you are losing control; and ask your partner to gently remind you about your resolution by using a signal or code word. If you seem unable to adhere to your commitments, consider seeing a family therapist to identify the reasons behind your lapses and develop effective strategies to achieve your parenting goals.


Resolve to try authoritative parenting. Of the most widely acknowledged primary parenting styles, authoritative parenting has been shown to produce positive results with children at every stage of development. Authoritative parents use positive reinforcement and sound reasoning to guide children, while avoiding punishments or threats. They are also careful to set limits on certain actions, while encouraging independence and holding high expectations for behavior. You can read more about authoritative parenting and its many benefits in this previous post.


Resolve to get support if you need it. Raising children from babies to adults is a roller coaster ride, filled with joy, heartbreak, challenges and rewards. It's important to understand and accept that everything can't be perfect all the time, and there will be negative aspects to child rearing. A qualified family therapist can work with you and your family to design an effective action plan that will help you overcome problems and build a strong, supportive family unit.


By collaborating with everyone involved, the therapists at Foundations Counseling can create a family counseling plan specifically designed for your family’s needs. Contact us today!