News flash: New Year’s resolutions don’t work! I don’t know about you, but I’ve set them for myself in the past and failed every time. In fact, research says that less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions are actually achieved.
So, what am I doing writing about New Year’s resolutions if they don’t work?
Well, as a parent, I’m wonderful at guilt tripping myself and questioning everything I do with my six-year-old mini cyclone. So, this year, I thought I’d talk about some different kinds of resolutions. Forget the January 1 promises of losing weight, exercising more and swearing less (*%$@ no!) – I’m talking about realistic resolutions for real-life parents!
Play offers fantastic benefits for parent and child. It strengthens bonds, helps children’s social and emotional development, nurtures creativity and encourages physical activity. But sometimes, I just don’t want to play! I’m sure you know what I mean. We’re parents; we get tired! It’s important to play with our kids, but it’s also important they know we need space, too. So, I will try to have more quality playtime with my daughter – but not beat myself up when I’m just not into it.
I let my daughter have screen time. Often. There, I’ve said it. And I feel guilty about it. No more! This year, I will make a habit of encouraging my daughter to play outside more, but I will not feel guilty about letting her watch Elf for the 317th time or her favourite YouTube family. We live in the digital age; there’s no denying it. There’s also no denying kids need the outdoors. It’s not easy to find that balance between screen time and outdoor play, but so long as our kids get both, we’re not terrible parents!
If there’s one trigger for my inner Hulk, it’s when my daughter spills her food or drink all over the floor. It usually happens right after I have finally got around to cleaning the house. I get soooo cranky, but I know she hasn’t meant to do it. After we clean up, I hug her and feel like the worst parent in the world. This year, I’ll try to be more understanding and not let the small stuff get to me. I also know I’ll slip up and lose my cool, and that’s OK. It doesn’t hurt for kids to see their actions have consequences, even if those actions were unintended.
I do have one more resolution – but this one I will keep separate from the rest, as it’s important. I’ll try not to rush bedtime as much. When my daughter calls me back into her room for that sixth cuddle, and all I want her to do is fall asleep so I can drink my wine go to bed too, I’ll probably still groan. But I’ll remind myself there will be a day when she no longer calls me back for that sixth cuddle. Or even a second one.
Whatever your resolutions are, have a happy and safe New Year!
Written by Lauren from Full Stop Publishing.
Now that we are well and truly back into the school year and daily grind, it’s easy for parental guilt to sink in.We’re so busy with work, life and endless to-do lists, we’re exhausted, and playing with our kids is not always our top priority. And it shouldn’t always be,
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