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Parenting Resolutions | New Years Parenting Resolutions | How To Be A Better Parent

25 New Year’s Resolutions Every Parent Should Make

Which one will you pick?

by Michelle Horton

December 30, 2009

400x236.jpg

8

We’re on the cusp of a new decade, a time for self-reflection and fresh starts. In case you’re having trouble thinking of a resolution or two, we’ve compiled 25 for every parent to ponder as we head into 2010. Happy New Year! Michelle Horton

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Teach your kids money management skills.

It’s never too early to learn the meaning of a dollar, especially after the gimme-gimme holiday season simmers down. Here, Anton Simunovic, founder of threejars.com, shares effective ways to use an allowance to teach kids self-reliance and responsibility.

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Read with your children. For fun.

In our competitive culture, where we flash card our children and stress about preschool admissions, many parents consider reading with their kid to be an educational chore. But whatever happened to reading for enjoyment, life lessons or bright, silly pictures? This year, let’s focus on our child’s excitement, not their reading level.

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Show appreciation for our parents.

We may be parents now, fussing over our children’s tiny feet, putting them on a school bus and sending them out into the world; but once upon a time, we were the kids being fussed over, being put on a school bus, being sent out into the world. For many, it takes having a child to finally appreciate what it means to have a parent. It’s time to show them the love.

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Do more home cooking.

There’s something about the waft of simmering garlic and roasting chicken that congregates a family faster than Christmas morning, but we understand cooking can be intimidating. Whether you’re more comfortable with the old-school charm of cookbooks or the modern convenience of helpful iPhone apps, Babble’s all about making cooking accessible for everyone. (And check out Nibblers for family memory-making inspiration!)

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Don’t beat yourself up over organics.

The incessant message that organic equals health isn’t likely to let up and unfortunately, neither is the hefty price tag for organic foods. To keep your family and bank account healthy, follow this shopping guide. And when the funds won’t allow, eh, organic shmorganic. There are more important things to worry about.

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Go on, let it out.

Yes, we’re big bad parents, strong and all knowing, but we’re not superheroes. We’re all just trying to get from point A to point B with minimal tears, tantrums and ouchies. With all of the balls we have in the air, always putting on a brave face is a waste of energy (we’re looking at you, too, Dads!). Let’s take a cue from our kids on this one and every once in awhile allow ourselves a good cry.

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Give your home a green makeover.

Not all of us have the energy, time or money to do a complete green overhaul, but that doesn’t mean we should throw in the plastic and preservative-ridden towel. Here are some simple steps we can take to create a better world for our kiddos.

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Organize clutter:

We get it. One minute the place is in order, the next we’re tripping over toys and climbing over laundry baskets. Kids have an uncanny way of tearing through a house, leaving us on constant pick-up duty. Well, no more. Here, a professional organizer offers tips on how to clean up the mess.

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…but let the dishes pile up every now and then.

Being tidy is one thing, but expecting your house to look immaculate 24-7 is a pipe dream. Take some advice from this writer who insists there are better ways to spend our lack-of-time than scrubbing floors.

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It’s the small things that matter.

Not every child has a parent with a PhD or even a working memory of high school calculus but it doesn’t make us lesser parents. It’s the simple lessons that will ultimately stick with our children, like the ones in this Do-It-Myself Guide. Set aside some time to teach them things you do know then watch your tot (or teen) stare up (or down) in amazement.

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Stop worrying about every. little. thing.

Pick your mental battles. We have enough on our minds without stressing about whether the TV is causing irreversible damage or the babysitter is replacing Mommy. If you feel your heart racing or your breath catching, step back and assess how trivial the issue is. Need help? We’ve got you.

14.jpg14.jpg

Stop judging other parents.

We’re all on the same team, yet we still snicker, sneer and judge one another. Don’t we have enough to worry about without micromanaging the child rearing of others or caring what the other bus stop moms will think? Let’s start the new decade by supporting, helping and encouraging our fellow monster-checking, nose-wiping parents.

25 New Year’s Resolutions Every Parent Should Make

Which one will you pick?

by Michelle Horton

December 30, 2009

400x236.jpg

8

13.jpg13b.jpg

Let kids be kids.

Susan Linn, author of The Case for Make Believe, told Babble that children have “an instinctual yearning for creative play” that’s fundamental to shaping who they are, yet today’s society tends to stifle that. Playing, pretending, imagining, believing these are as instrumental in the Digital Age as they’ve always been. Spend some time unplugged, building forts and playing house. Let them enjoy childhood stripped to its core.

12.jpg12.jpg

Practice a non-plastic lifestyle.

Babble has published numerous reports about why certain plastics are dangerous and which ones to look out for now it’s time to weed ’em out of our pantries. But not all plastics are created equal, so become educated on what to look for and make some easy swap-outs, like using stainless steel water bottles, glass storage containers and parchment paper wrap.

11.jpg11b.jpg

Plan a vacation.

With finances tight for many families, vacations may seem like an extravagance. But for our kids’ psyches and family bonding, a little getaway is worth the money. We’re not talking a lavish two-week European extravaganza, instead, budget for a multi-state road trip or weekend getaway. And since traveling with little ones isn’t always (ever?) blissful, Babble compiled sanity-saving tips and extensive vacation guides.

10.jpg10.jpg

Find “me” time.

Maybe this resolution is a little deceiving – technically, being a parent means there’s always an extension of “me.” But that doesn’t mean our appearance has to be at the bottom of the priority pile. We know, we know – being spit up on for the up-teenth time in one hour makes the words “sexy” and “elegant” as foreign as a nice, long shower. But, hey, with these 25 must-have beauty products, at least we can make an effort.

9.jpg09.jpg

Assign guardianship, if you haven’t already.

It might not be the most glamorous resolution, but this one should be on the top of every parent’s To Do list. Of course no one likes to think about handing over a child to be raised by another, and it’s a heavy decision that may even hurt some feelings. But coming to a decision and drawing up a will is too important to sweep under the rug until next year.

8.jpg08.jpg

Exercise.

Because exercise is so crucial for our health both physically and mentally we compiled 12 ways that anyone can find work out time. And we’re totally counting baby arm raises and vacuuming here.

7.jpg07.jpg

Eat healthy.

In pre-baby life, our resolution may have read lose weight, but now we’ve got a whole new reason to watch our diet: The little person behind the high chair. Fact is, establishing healthy eating habits starts with us. Beyond that, getting our kids to eat better is an important goal for the year one that doesn’t require slaving over a stove for hours, shelling out mega dough or skimping on taste.

6.jpg06.jpg

Be a good role model.

Those little ears listen to everything you say; those eyes follow every action and those mouths spew out some pretty horrifying things, all in the name of imitation. Now’s a good a time to curb potty mouth and act like the person you want your child to be. Nope, it’s not easy, but did anyone say it was going to be?

5.jpg05.jpg

Limit the stress in our children’s lives.

Numbers show kids are absorbing stress from their parents, especially when it comes to the uncertain economy. But with enough on their plates, like Johnny The Bully, six hours of homework and not being invited to the Party Of The Year, kids don’t need to carry our burdens as well.

4.jpg04.jpg

Release control.

This is a tough one. There’s something about sharing a body with our children and watching them develop from infancy until now that has made us – what’s the word? – crazy. (Will we become the helicopter parents we’ve always despised?) But newsflash: Kids are actually safer than they were in the 70s and 80s. Yep, safer. But for some reason, parents are more fearful. While it’s important to be cautious, maybe this year we can let go, breathe and parent on the loose.

3.jpg03.jpg

Nurture your partnership.

We spend hours reading parenting how-to books, thumbing through parenting magazines and joining parenting communities, while our partnerships are often neglected. For those of us lucky enough to have a co-parent, let’s resolve to appreciate that person, whether it’s by going on date nights, communicating more or simply diving between the sheets. At the end of the day, your children will learn to walk away; your partner will still be holding your hand.

2.jpg02.jpg

Accept who your children are.

While we absolutely have a part in shaping our children, part of the gig is getting to know who these little people are and fostering their individual personalities. Despite what we may dream for them to be and despite how we may want them to act, only staying tuned in to them will make our parenting job more effective.

1.jpg01.jpg

Live for your family.

Above everything else, we’re lucky to have these messy, difficult, squishable children. Instead of complaining, let’s recognize that some families are challenged, grieving and desperate in ways that we can’t understand. Above all else, let’s resolve to enjoy one another and let that always be enough, no matter what time of the year.

Find more:

This article was written by Michelle Horton for Babble.com, the magazine and community for a new generation of parents.

25 New Year’s Resolutions Every Parent Should Make

Which one will you pick?

by Michelle Horton

December 30, 2009

400x236.jpg

8

15.jpg15.jpg

Stop worrying about every. little. thing.

Pick your mental battles. We have enough on our minds without stressing about whether the TV is causing irreversible damage or the babysitter is replacing Mommy. If you feel your heart racing or your breath catching, step back and assess how trivial the issue is. Need help? We’ve got you.

14.jpg14.jpg

Stop judging other parents.

We’re all on the same team, yet we still snicker, sneer and judge one another. Don’t we have enough to worry about without micromanaging the child rearing of others or caring what the other bus stop moms will think? Let’s start the new decade by supporting, helping and encouraging our fellow monster-checking, nose-wiping parents.

13.jpg13b.jpg

Let kids be kids.

Susan Linn, author of The Case for Make Believe, told Babble that children have “an instinctual yearning for creative play” that’s fundamental to shaping who they are, yet today’s society tends to stifle that. Playing, pretending, imagining, believing these are as instrumental in the Digital Age as they’ve always been. Spend some time unplugged, building forts and playing house. Let them enjoy childhood stripped to its core.

12.jpg12.jpg

Practice a non-plastic lifestyle.

Babble has published numerous reports about why certain plastics are dangerous and which ones to look out for now it’s time to weed ’em out of our pantries. But not all plastics are created equal, so become educated on what to look for and make some easy swap-outs, like using stainless steel water bottles, glass storage containers and parchment paper wrap.

11.jpg11b.jpg

Plan a vacation.

With finances tight for many families, vacations may seem like an extravagance. But for our kids’ psyches and family bonding, a little getaway is worth the money. We’re not talking a lavish two-week European extravaganza, instead, budget for a multi-state road trip or weekend getaway. And since traveling with little ones isn’t always (ever?) blissful, Babble compiled sanity-saving tips and extensive vacation guides.

25 New Year’s Resolutions Every Parent Should Make

Which one will you pick?

by Michelle Horton

December 30, 2009

400x236.jpg

8

10.jpg10.jpg

Find “me” time.

Maybe this resolution is a little deceiving – technically, being a parent means there’s always an extension of “me.” But that doesn’t mean our appearance has to be at the bottom of the priority pile. We know, we know – being spit up on for the up-teenth time in one hour makes the words “sexy” and “elegant” as foreign as a nice, long shower. But, hey, with these 25 must-have beauty products, at least we can make an effort.

9.jpg09.jpg

Assign guardianship, if you haven’t already.

It might not be the most glamorous resolution, but this one should be on the top of every parent’s To Do list. Of course no one likes to think about handing over a child to be raised by another, and it’s a heavy decision that may even hurt some feelings. But coming to a decision and drawing up a will is too important to sweep under the rug until next year.

8.jpg08.jpg

Exercise.

Because exercise is so crucial for our health both physically and mentally we compiled 12 ways that anyone can find work out time. And we’re totally counting baby arm raises and vacuuming here.

7.jpg07.jpg

Eat healthy.

In pre-baby life, our resolution may have read lose weight, but now we’ve got a whole new reason to watch our diet: The little person behind the high chair. Fact is, establishing healthy eating habits starts with us. Beyond that, getting our kids to eat better is an important goal for the year one that doesn’t require slaving over a stove for hours, shelling out mega dough or skimping on taste.

6.jpg06.jpg

Be a good role model.

Those little ears listen to everything you say; those eyes follow every action and those mouths spew out some pretty horrifying things, all in the name of imitation. Now’s a good a time to curb potty mouth and act like the person you want your child to be. Nope, it’s not easy, but did anyone say it was going to be?

25 New Year’s Resolutions Every Parent Should Make

Which one will you pick?

by Michelle Horton

December 30, 2009

400x236.jpg

8

5.jpg05.jpg

Limit the stress in our children’s lives.

Numbers show kids are absorbing stress from their parents, especially when it comes to the uncertain economy. But with enough on their plates, like Johnny The Bully, six hours of homework and not being invited to the Party Of The Year, kids don’t need to carry our burdens as well.

4.jpg04.jpg

Release control.

This is a tough one. There’s something about sharing a body with our children and watching them develop from infancy until now that has made us – what’s the word? – crazy. (Will we become the helicopter parents we’ve always despised?) But newsflash: Kids are actually safer than they were in the 70s and 80s. Yep, safer. But for some reason, parents are more fearful. While it’s important to be cautious, maybe this year we can let go, breathe and parent on the loose.

3.jpg03.jpg

Nurture your partnership.

We spend hours reading parenting how-to books, thumbing through parenting magazines and joining parenting communities, while our partnerships are often neglected. For those of us lucky enough to have a co-parent, let’s resolve to appreciate that person, whether it’s by going on date nights, communicating more or simply diving between the sheets. At the end of the day, your children will learn to walk away; your partner will still be holding your hand.

2.jpg02.jpg

Accept who your children are.

While we absolutely have a part in shaping our children, part of the gig is getting to know who these little people are and fostering their individual personalities. Despite what we may dream for them to be and despite how we may want them to act, only staying tuned in to them will make our parenting job more effective.

1.jpg01.jpg

Live for your family.

Above everything else, we’re lucky to have these messy, difficult, squishable children. Instead of complaining, let’s recognize that some families are challenged, grieving and desperate in ways that we can’t understand. Above all else, let’s resolve to enjoy one another and let that always be enough, no matter what time of the year.

Find more:

This article was written by Michelle Horton for Babble.com, the magazine and community for a new generation of parents.

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