Youth Alternatives: Helping kids Make New Year's Resolutions

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CHEYENNE, Wyo - In our bi-weekly series with Cheyenne Youth Alternatives, Brooks Cotton stopped by the morning show to talk about setting resolutions with kids.

With the New Year almost here its time to start thinking about resolutions for the whole family including children. When it comes to children, achieving resolutions can build healthy self-esteem and confidence but also a way to allow kids to grow as an individual and teach them how to plan and take charge of their actions.

-Be Role Models/Lead by example
Parents can start by explaining resolution especially to young kids but also asking kids for ideas and helping them evaluate resolutions together. “Practice what you preach” By Making your own resolutions and sticking to them, you’re showing them it can be done. Share your own goals with your kids and give them details about how you plan to accomplish them. Share your progress with them. Teach kids how to set and work towards goals but make the resolution fun and personal

-Don’t Nag or Push
Check in with your kids about their progress but also understand there will be lapses. Resolutions are not meant to be completed on the first day. They are long term commitments. Talk openly with them about their resolutions. Help them understand that you know how difficult this is, but reinforce the thought that they can accomplish their resolution if they stick with it.

-Stay Positive
Positive reinforcement is a great way for kids to get motivated. Remind them of the resolution in motivating manner and guide them on how to achieve that goal. Be supportive “How can I help you with your resolutions.” Find a way to make it fun ex: visual reminders, Be Patient. It can take a while but understand you may need to help your child modify their goals. Sometimes despite admirable effort we can fall short of our goals

-Narrow the List
Help your child make specific and measurable resolutions. Specific- this should include what your child’s goal is, what are they working on, and how they plan to achieve it. Example of Specific resolution would be instead of “I’m going to exercise more” and better resolution would be “I’m going to join a basketball team. Measurable-help them track their progress and have regular check ins with them. Keep the Resolutions simple but attainable -Attainable- help them pick a goal that will challenge them but not over whelm them. Don’t overdo it