Yes…it is a new year….and a new decade. Twice the reason to resolve for change in your life. For parents of school age children, making changes has application at multiple levels. Seeking to make changes as a parent has direct impacts on you personally and on your children. And, with everything else that is hitting you as you restart school, getting your second wind for the 2nd semester, and preparing yourself for what you can’t see that you know is coming, it is important to capture the opportunity for making impactful changes that the new year mood brings.
At the same time, you don’t want or need to overwhelm yourself or your kids chasing after new “shiny objects” of change that will only dim quickly. That only serves to add more stress. And who needs that? So what can you do to bring about some changes that can further impact your family in a healthy and challenging way? Let’s look at some simple things that you can do to enhance your family life and child relationships as you enter this new year.
- Put notes of encouragement in your children’s lunch bags. One dad did this and his son saved them and gave them back to his Dad as a surprise when he graduated college.
- Have a “family memory night.” Everyone gets to share his or her funniest memories and best family moments. Laughing is good for the soul. It is also biblical.
- On the way to school, ask your kids, “What is one thing you’re looking forward to today?” After school, ask them, “What was the best thing that happened to you today?”. Stay away from that awful, redundant question. “How was school today?”
- When your child shares something with you, stop what you’re doing and look him in the eyes. Ask a follow-up question. Listening with the eyes is as, or even more, important than listening with your ears.
- Stop communicating in only 140 characters or less.
- Stay OFF the phone when you pick your child up
- Pick a night of the week to be “No-Screen Night.” Turn off all computers and televisions to do something fun as a family. There are plenty of old fashion board games to be had and enjoyed.
- Start a prayer jar. Each family member can write prayers or draw prayer pictures and leave them in the jar. At year’s end, look through the prayers together and talk about God’s faithfulness. He is faithful. This will prove it.
Remember this: The days are long and the years are short. Before you know it, that distant time that you thought would take a forever to arrive, i.e. your children’s departure to make a life of their own, will come and go. Show them now that you are ready and committed to bring something truly new and meaningful into your family life. This will assist them in how they see their own lives…and God’s purpose for them.
NOTE: Source for this article comes from http://media.focusonthefamily.com/fotf/pdf/magazine/guilt-free-resolutions.pdf