8 examples of new year parenting resolutions

pixabay-2017-new-yearHowever you feel about making new year resolutions, this very early part of the year at least serves as an annual reminder that we need to — at some point — take time to reflect on our lives, check where we are on our goals, and continue making plans moving forward.

It’s important to set and work toward goals in our parenting journey. We have to be seeking growth in our attachment relationships with our children to be able to experience it, and being the parent, that growth falls back on us continually working to move forward on our parenting journey.

Here are 8 examples of new year parenting resolutions:

  1. I resolve to admit when I am wrong, and to include my kids in the housework, even when it would be faster and easier not to. — Jennifer
  2. I resolve to breastfeed my child at least 2 years.– Kate
  3. I resolve to do more self-care, including regular exercise, more sleep, and eating greens everyday. — Monica
  4. I resolve to validate emotions and experience, to use positive language, to model what I wish to elicit, to assume the best of intentions, to learn from my child, and to be present. — Miriam
  5. I resolve to become aware of frustration, to see my child’s resistance as a wake-up call, to become more proactive instead of reactive, to speak respectfully of my child’s other parent, to make more emotional deposits than withdrawals, to see my child as good and not bad, to find ways to acknowledge and encourage my child, to see “misbehavior” as an unmet need, to give my child advance notices of a transition, and to help my child move closer to his purpose in life. — Bill
  6. I resolve to read a book related to each of API’s Eight Principles of Parenting, to teach baby signs, to learn infant massage, and to not spank and to instead practice positive discipline. — Christina
  7. I resolve to be more connected to my children. — Cason
  8. I resolve to trust my instincts, to nurse in public, to care for myself, to live in the moment, and to ask for help. — Courtney

Wishing upon a star…mindfully ringing in the New Year as a family

stars-christmas-tree-2-1322945-mToday, I want to share with you a beautiful, mindful way to ring in the New Year as a family: Wishing upon a star.

You can repeat this practice on a regular — maybe monthly — base throughout the year if you like. It is a beautiful way to check in and connect with your loved ones and mindfully, playfully, agree on some core values.

I have to confess that I have never been fond of New Year’s intentions. In fact, I cannot recall ever having set some of the typical New Year’s intentions.

However, I love — and have enjoyed sharing with many kids, teens and families so far — this idea of mindfully and gently inviting whatever it is you wish for…may it be more happiness, kindness, joy, ease, harmony, health…into your lives. You can practice with children and teenagers of any age, simply by adapting your choice of words.

Wishing Upon a Star

  • The setup: A cozy space to sit — e.g. your living room floor (how about sitting by the lights of your Christmas tree, if you have one?), a cozy rug or blanket spread on the floor, a couple of cushions or yoga mats arranged in a circle, or…you get the idea.

I highly recommend turning your session into a fun and creative crafting project. This helps visualize your wishes and gives you the opportunity to create a shared reminder for future reference, which you might pin up on your fridge or another communal spot in your home.

For the crafting, you will need many stars (made of cardboard, paper, foam or any material you feel comfortable writing on and of colors according to your family’s preferences), colorful markers, a large piece of cardboard and glue, or a pin board and pins.

  • The practice:

Once everyone feels ready, all together come to a nice, comfortable, seated position — making sure each of you has some space around them for extending arms on both sides of your body — and gently close your eyes.

Take a couple of deep breaths in and out, letting your breath simply flow in its natural rhythm, giving each of you a chance to settle and check in with yourself for a couple of moments, and to anchor your awareness on your breathing.

Then, gently holding your awareness on your breathing — and simply bringing it back there over and over again whenever your attentions starts to wander elsewhere — gently deepen your inhales and your exhales more and more, as much as it feels comfortable to each one of you.

With each deep inhale, now spread your arms wide open to your sides — much like as if you were about to give someone a huge hug — creating space. Pause. When the exhale rolls in, gently let go, letting all the air float back out of your body. Simultaneously lower your arms to wherever feels comfortable for you: your lap, your sides or maybe bringing your palms together in front of your heart. Pause, settling into the space and calm.

Continue this breathing pattern for a couple of minutes:

  • Inhaling: Opening up, creating new space, making room for whatever it is we would like to invite into our lives.
  • Pause.
  • Exhaling: Letting go, gently letting go of things we might hold on to that no longer serve us and giving us a moment to settle into the clear space we have created with the power of our breathing.
  • Pause.
  • Repeat.

Adapt the length of this exercise to your family’s preferences and of course the age of your children: The younger your children, the shorter the practice will probably be. Once you feel you have continued this breathing pattern long enough, gently return to the natural rhythm of your breathing and mindfully follow it for couple more moments before you gently open your eyes.

Share a smile. Share a hug. Share a huge hug.

Then, on to the crafting part. Each of you grabs as many stars as you like and, one wish per star, writes down things each person would like to invite into his or her lives and into your life together as a family.

Share. Connect. Discuss. Explore. Stay open, and let yourself be surprised. This is a wonderful occasion for connecting with your loved ones and sharing what is close to your hearts. Have fun with this!

Once you have assembled all your stars onto the cardboard or pin board, find a beautiful space for the reminder you have created. And, if you like, come back and check in regularly.

Happy New Year to all of you! May whatever it is you wish for on your stars find the space to enter, enrich and lighten up your lives!

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