My Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Parents

Happy New Year!

As a mother of two and a frequent visitor to websites, blogs, and forums made for and about parents, I know I’m not alone when I say I am always open to learning better parenting skills and adopting clever ideas from other moms and dads out there. Therefore, as the time for New Year’s resolutions approaches, instead of inventing my own ideal New Year’s resolution to share, I would like to share this collection of my ten favorite New Year's resolutions for and by real parents:

Unplug more. Put down the phone, cell, ipad, laptop, or tv remote for at least the 1-2 hours after getting home. Get them involved in chatting, cleaning up, cooking, setting the table, going through the mail, etc. They grow up so fast – take more time to savor the now with them while you can. (Neighborhood Parents Network)

Mother and Wife. I'm making a promise to not give all my time to being a good mom but make sure to save some of "me" to share with My Super Fantastic Supportive Husband. Giving my children a good example of a healthy and loving marriage will hopefully help them feel secure, confident, and blessed. (

Listen More; Talk at Less. Ask "What do you think? What are you feeling? Tell me about it. What would you do?" (Bright Horizons Family Solutions)

Back Away From the Vacuum. I am going to spend less time cleaning and more time playing! The kids won't remember if the house was perfectly clean all the time but they will remember having fun with me. (

Don't skimp on bedtime. No matter how old your child is, taking time to tuck them in is a great way to bond. Being there at the end of each day and creating a quiet space to talk establishes security and intimacy that will make them feel trusting enough to tell you things they might not otherwise share. It's also a great time to read out loud to your child. We all know how easy it is to rush through the routine, often out of sheer exhaustion, but let's resolve to snuggle in or pull up a chair and listen. (Metroparent)

When your kids are trying your patience, avoid stress and resentment by refusing to take the bait.

Don‘t lose your cool with your kids. When your kids are trying your patience, avoid stress and resentment by refusing to take the bait. Calming yourself before you react is key, says Charlotte Reznick, child psychologist and author of “The Power of Your Child’s Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success.” (PBSParents)

Do Chores. Having a system for household responsibilities spreads out the work instead of having it all fall on one person (you know who!) Assigning chores and reminding kids to do them can feel like a chore in itself. Try keeping a chore jar with slips of paper for kids to pick which chore they'll do that week, such as taking out the trash. (Familyeducation)

Spend more time together as a family. Have more family dinners (with the TV off). They lead to better nutrition, better school performance, and better teen behavior. Game Night is another way to spend time together. Exercise together, visit a museum. Try to do something once a week. The connections you make with your family can make all the difference for your child, and for you. (Bostonglobe)

Become a More Moderate Photographer. I tend to go months without taking a photo of my son and then become his personal paparazzi for a few weeks. I’m always bouncing between the extremes, but this year I’d like to establish a more balanced photography schedule. (The Muse)

Light up more. Maya Angelou once asked, "Does your face light up when your child walks into the room?" When you get home from work and first see your little one, or when she wanders into your room in the morning – do you show her how much you love her and how happy you are to see her? Don’t miss this precious opportunity every day. (Neighborhood Parents Network)

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