2023 New Years Resolution Ideas for Families

I can't believe it's almost 2023!

I hope I’m not the only parent in complete and utter shock at the fact we are now entering a brand new year already… I mean, I think I’m still stuck in 2018 in my head!

A new year means New Year’s resolutions - and whether you believe in setting stereotypical resolutions or not, I do think this time of year is great to reflect on the year passed and try to think how you could work to better the coming twelve months.

Especially when you have a young family - who doesn’t want their family to be the healthiest, happiest and best versions of themselves!?

Instead of super-strict, never going to happen New Year’s resolutions that you have to tick off on a daily basis and that you'll undoubtedly be unable to keep up with your already busy life... here are some general New Year's resolution ideas that are more achievable.

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More Family Days Out

This is a simple New Year's resolution - try and make time for more family days out! I don’t necessarily mean expensive days out like the zoo or theme parks (although of course, it can be this if you want it to!). I'm talking days out of the house where you can just have fun all together as a family.

For example, a trip to the park where you have a family game of football or see how many different types of leaves you can find. Or, a walk along a stony beachfront, followed by some fish and chips watching the tide come in.

Perhaps, a day out playing in the snow, ticking off your snow day bucket list as a family. Or an exciting adventure to the library, reading as many books as you can rather than a fleeting visit.

The list goes on and on, more family days out are not only great for your mental health but are perfect New Year's resolutions for those wanting more time together.

Whatever you do, do it as a family. Make more memories.

Be More Present Everyday

Okay, I know I said these wouldn’t be things you’d have to do on a daily basis, but hear me out.

In today’s society, our mind is pretty much always preoccupied with a million and one different things. If you’re the default parent, you probably have a massive mental load with a running to-do list longer than your arm. 

As a result, a lot of the time we aren’t truly present when we’re spending time with, or talking to, our children.

Perhaps we’re multitasking and mid-washing up, perhaps we’re thinking about what to make for dinner or perhaps we have the near-impossible task of trying to work and parent simultaneously.

Whatever the situation, unfortunately, the facts are the same: sometimes we aren’t giving our children our 100% attention.

For me, being more present every day means making the decision in those moments to stop what I’m doing and give my children my complete attention. Spending a few minutes away from whatever you were doing isn't going to be the end of the world, but it might make your little one's day.

Get excited with them about whatever they’re talking to me about. Get down onto their level. Provide lots of eye contact. Really, truly, properly look at what they’re showing me. Take in my surroundings. I think of it a little bit like my eyes, ears and brain are all taking a snapshot of this moment in my life, to hold as a memory forever.

This New Year's resolution idea costs you nothing,  and has the potential to have a big impact on your child's behaviour, I'd really recommend trying this one out!

Compliment Your Child More

 A simple New Year's resolution idea that I think we forget to do in the hubbub of family life: spend time complimenting your child.

Properly, honestly, and deeply complimenting them. I don’t mean a throwaway ‘you look so cute!’ or ‘wow, your drawing is good!’. I mean the type of compliment that is going to grow a confident human being who holds their self-esteem high.

The type of compliment that many of our generations wished we heard as a child ourselves. Tie them in with some positive affirmations too and reminders of how loved they are and you’re going to have yourself one happy, confident child.

Here are a few examples of how you can tie these meaningful phrases into your everyday:

  • “I really loved spending time with you today, you're so much fun to be around.”

  • “You were so funny earlier when you told that joke, you made me laugh so much and your jokes are hilarious!”

  • “You were so brave climbing all the way to the top of the climbing frame, you can do hard things!”

  • “I was so proud of you today when you said sorry for hurting your sister. Sometimes it’s hard to say sorry but you did it, and that meant a lot to her. She really enjoyed the hug you shared afterwards.”

  • “I love how you’ve used all of these different colours in your drawing! You are so creative and I can’t wait to hang this on the fridge!”

  • “You’re beautiful inside and out and I love you no matter what.”

Don’t forget: when you’re giving these deep, meaningful compliments; look your child in the eye. Hold their hand. Smile. Truly connect with them.

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Just Breathe

 This one has honestly changed my family’s life this year. No joke.

Now, I know some people think this is a bit of a farce but I swear by simply pausing and taking a deep breath. That’s it.

Feeling stressed? Take a deep breath.

Think you’re about to shout at your child? Take a deep breath.

Don’t know how to respond in the midst of chaos? Take a deep breath.

Think you're about to say something you might regret? You guessed it: take a deep breath!

 Not only are these deep breaths an amazing little tool for us as adults to calm down and reflect on the situation at hand, but they’re great little humans too. You might think ‘but my child is too young, they’ll never stop and take a deep breath amidst emotional breakdown’ or perhaps you’re even thinking ‘have you ever SEEN my child’s tantrums?!’. I get it.

I didn’t believe it when I first read about this tip either. I didn’t believe it every time I sat there and said ‘Let’s pause and take a deep breath together’ and took a deep breath whilst my child screamed and shouted in my face.

But then, something began to change. Slowly, he started noticing it. He started quietening down whilst I did my deep breath. Then, eventually, after probably months of practising this every single day: he joined in. Now, nine times out of ten, he will pause and do a nice big dramatic deep breath with me.

Sure, taking a deep breath in the midst of a struggle or communication breakdown is impressive enough, but the real magic is what happens afterwards: he’s that little bit calmer. Most of the time, following our deep breaths, he’s able to calmly communicate to me what the problem is.

Sometimes it takes a little longer, so we hug it out. But that pause and deep breath works like magic. You just have to give it time to become a habit and routine, just like anything in life.

 So, make it your family's New Year's resolutions to breathe more. Pause and breathe. No matter your age, it just might help.

More Messy Play

 I know that messy play isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay! But the New Year is the perfect time to push on your internalised boundaries and try new things, right?!

Messy play is so good for children - from improving their fine motor skills to the sensory benefit of exploring new textures, it’s developmentally brilliant.

So, what’s holding you back? Let’s explore a few common issues people tend to have with messy play:

  • If you don’t like the clean-up afterwards, you can create less mess and stress by having a solid setup beforehand: why not invest in a tuff tray to contain the mess or use the fitted bedsheet trick? 

  • Not sure where to start? If your baby is young or has a tendency to mouth then taste-safe messy play is the best route (think food items: dry cereal, porridge oats, chia seed slime). Of course, don’t let them intentionally eat it, but the idea is if they accidentally ate a very small amount there would be no worry of toxicity. 

  • If messy play overwhelms you, try a tinker tray instead. This is a much smaller version of messy play and will create significantly less mess whilst still having all of the fine motor skills and developmental benefits.

  • Even things like painting can be messy play! Let your child get messy using their hands and feet to create patterns, or you could be more productive with it and let them create cards for loved ones!

  • If your child is bored of messy play then up it a level: make something like rainbow rice or oobleck slime! You could even tie in your messy play set up to the season and create a seasonally themed messy play!

  • Really can’t get to grips with messy play at home no matter how hard you try? Go to a messy play class instead! There are messy playgroups all over the UK, so there’s bound to be one local to you. Just remember to pack a towel, wipes and a spare change of clothes!

What are your family's New Year’s resolutions this year? Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have a happy 2023!

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