Sharing End of the Year Reflections with Young People
As we approach the New Year many of us use this time of self-reflection to craft resolutions to improve ourselves in the coming year. From healthier eating habits, to increased exercise, to our own elimination of procrastination, often resolutions are focused on our own improvement. This year take a chance and make it a family or community activity. After all, adults are not the only ones who benefit from New Year’s resolutions; our children can also learn a lot about self-discipline and the value of making goals as the resolve to make things better in the New Year.
The best way to teach children the importance of a New Year’s resolution is by making it part of the tradition of a family or community. As you gather together in December with the young people in your life, take the opportunity to reflect on the past year. Together you can discuss accomplishments and goals, as individuals and as a group. In your resolution conversation each member young and old can talk about what worked this year and what can be improved in the coming months.
A whole family or group can make a resolution which helps support even the youngest members achieve their goals. For example, a group resolution may be to go to the park on a weekly or monthly basis to have a healthy game of catch. This resolution gets the group out and active.
As Sondheim’s Witch pronounces in Into the Woods, “Careful the things you do, children will see and learn.” It is up to those treasured adults in our children’s lives to serve as role models, whether they choose to or not. As you share your resolution take a moment to think about what you would like to see in the coming year and share that with the young people in your life. Also remember to share the obstacles and successes that are on your path to achieving your goals.
We all know the feeling of meeting a goal, whether it be losing five pounds, quitting smoking or putting in extra hours to complete a project on the job. Young people also relish that thrill of accomplishment, especially when others acknowledge it. Throughout the year check in and make sure you take time to acknowledge the successes, along with reinforcing the resolutions that need more attention.
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Monthly Messages are brought to you by the Tompkins County Youth Services Department, a proud partner of The Community Coalition for Healthy Youth.
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