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Top 10 daily resolutions for parents to be better for our kids– and ourselves–in 2015.

 

As the calendar flipped to January 1, many people rang in the New Year with resolutions on how to better their lives. Realistically, life was back in full swing by mid- January, and those resolutions had taken a back seat to old habits. As parents, we focus so much of our energy on our children and often forget that the decisions we make impact their lives, too.

If we can learn to make small resolutions on a daily basis, we will not only make our lives better– but be better parents, as well. Here are some suggestions for a great 2015:

 

BE ‘OK’ WITH THE MESS

We are expected to juggle work, PTA meetings, sports practices and housework with ease. The sink is full of dirty dishes and laundry is a week behind. This year, let’s resolve to accept the mess and learn to focus on appreciating how it got there; dirty dishes in the sink means you didn’t eat alone; piles of laundry means everyone has clothes to wear. A clean house would be nice, but living a full life is nicer, so let’s focus on the experiences we have along the way, not the messes.

 

GIVE OURSELVES GRACE

Mishaps happen often in parenting, and leave us feeling inadequate. Let’s try to laugh at the things that go wrong and resolve to forgive our self more in the New Year. When we give ourselves some grace, it’s easier to learn from our mistakes and move forward.

 

CATCH THE EXCITEMENT

It’s no secret that kids appreciate the simple things in life: their awe at discovering their shadow, their pride in mastering a new skill, or their excitement in earning a good grade. Their reactions are untainted by the world around them. This year, we need to learn from our kids and be excited about the simple things in life.

 

PARENTING ADVICE

As the saying goes, “If we don’t learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it.” That’s why, if every year you make the same resolutions and don’t follow through, you need to look back and figure out what didn’t work for you.

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WATCH YOUR CHILD

Like snowflakes, each person is unique. Personality traits emerge at an early age, and we need to nurture those traits and encourage them to grow. Resolve to take time each day to truly watch your children become who they are meant to be.

 

LAND THE HELICOPTER: STOP HOVERING

As parents, it is our job to protect our children. However, part of growing up is making mistakes and learning from them. We need to resolve to watchfully parent, but from a distance. Let’s take a step back and allow the children to learn and grow on their own.

 

GIVE MORE OF THIS GIFT

Keys to a happy childhood aren’t how many toys they have, but rather memories made by spending time together. Resolve to give more quality time to your family, and give them the gift of family memories by playing with the toys with them.

 

EMBRACE YOUR IMPERFECT FAMILY

Just as each person is unique, so is each family. Resolve to embrace that odd cousin or aunt, and realize that the robust laugh you share with your siblings help make your family one-of-a-kind.

 

BE IN THE MOMENT

In a society where we substitute texting for conversations and take photos of events rather than experiencing them, we need to be in the moment and actually enjoy life with those who make it worth living. Let’s resolve to put down our phones and spend quality time with your family– technology free.

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EMBRACE OUR DIFFERENCES

Parenting is difficult and we handle the pressures differently. Something that works for one family doesn’t necessarily work for another. Let’s resolve to embrace the differences in our parenting styles and realize that the things we do differently are what helps our society work.

 

GET BACK ON THE WAGON

Too often, we sacrifice me-time and blame our families for our defeat instead of ourselves. It doesn’t make us better parents when we ignore our own needs; in fact it’s the opposite. Even if we’ve already fallen off the exercise wagon this year, let’s resolve each morning to get back on. If we can resolve to make small changes on a daily basis, when the calendar flips to 2016, we will certainly see those small changes add up to something great.

 

Written by Lyndsey Akley

Lyndsey Akley is one half of a parenting duo and mom of a toddler in Rapid City. In 2015, she resolves to take the lessons she’s learned in 2014 and improve in the coming year. Even with your best efforts, occasional slips happen.