10 Real New Year's Resolutions by 10 Real Parents

I admit, I don't always make New Year's resolutions. It seems to me that I am always striving to improve my less-that-perfect self, so why limit my attempts to this once-a-year landmark? And yet, there is something appealing about the idea of making a fresh start, especially when it comes to parenting.

We all want to be better parents. We attempt to improve ourselves in a gamut of ways: smokers try to stop smoking, sugar junkies attempt to eat more healthfully, the passive strive to become more assertive, all for the betterment of our kids. We ask the advice of friends, parents, and experts and are often keenly aware of our shortcomings (ouch!) But the truth remains: parents are just as human as anyone else.

This year, instead of just considering my own parental aspirations and resolutions, I asked 10 of my friends (and very real parents) what they would resolve to do differently this new year:

"I will find ways, other than raising my voice, to get my kids' attention." ~Ellie B.

"I will take the time to teach my kids all those little things I tend to do for them." ~Pam J.

"I will not judge my spouse for parenting differently from myself." ~Mary P.

"I will not give in to tantrums just to keep the peace, even if I'm really tired. It just leads to more tantrums later." ~Steve P.

"I will get more sleep." ~Amy S.

"I will play more and yell less, with my kids." ~Kevin M.

"I will spend more time being 'present' with my family." ~Bethany S.

"I will strive to balance time with my wife and three children." ~C.W.

“I will remember that, as a parent, I am my child's best teacher." ~Chris R.

"I will forgive myself for making mistakes as a parent." ~Lindsey H.

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