Highlights of our ideas for family New Year intentions.
- We prefer daily intentions over annual resolutions.
- You can teach young kids to be mindful.
- Practice doing things before others.
- Practice gratitude.
- Practice patience.
- Give household responsibilities.
- Teach kids to feel their feelings.
- Take care of the Earth.
- Move your bodies every day.
Spoiler alert! We're not fans of New Year resolutions around here. We think that if you want to make a positive change in your life, there's no time like the present and that self-improvement is a daily practice. The dawn of every new day provides us with a beautiful opportunity to reflect on what we feel in the moment and review where we're heading.
Sometimes, life gets in the way, and time for self-reflection presents itself a little less frequently, especially when we’re busy parenting. This is okay!
However, our best intentions are more likely to manifest themselves if we make pondering them a daily habit. It doesn't have to be daunting. It can be as simple as taking a minute before you get out of bed in the morning to check in with how you're feeling and consider what you want to do better that day.
Often, setting daily intentions sparks a desire to make life-long changes. Sometimes these changes are minor and non-life-altering. Other times contemplating your intentions unleashes a genuine desire to forge a new path.
Just remind yourself that change is a journey, and there will be mistakes, detours, and full stops. And remember, each new day provides a beautiful opportunity to start anew. Whatever you discover, the key is to be as kind to yourself as you would be to a friend or loved one.
We also think that grounding yourself in daily intentions is something you can teach your kids that will enrich their lives.
Here are our suggestions for helping you and your family start the new year with gratitude, grace, and positivity.
Practice doing things for others before themselves.
Ask older children to help their younger siblings with daily tasks before themselves. For example, an older child may help teach a younger one to put on their shoes and coat first before going outside.
Teach the concept of patience.
There are many ways to do this, like waiting until everyone is finished eating to leave the table or taking turns with toys and books.
Introduce responsibilities around the house.
Kids as young as two can do simple tasks like helping take clothes out of the washing machine or scooping up and pouring the dog's food into their bowl. Children love to help, so let them!
Teach your little ones about being thankful.
Before bedtime, ask your little one, "what is one thing you are thankful for today?" Or ask everyone to say one thing they are thankful for before a family meal. At first, they might not understand this concept, but going through this thought process over time is a good first step in teaching gratitude.
Teach your little ones to feel their feelings.
Set time aside to ask, maybe when you are driving home from school or daycare, to ask your child to tell you something that made them feel happy and something that made them feel sad today.
You'll likely feel tickled by some of the answers like "my baby brother whacking me with a toy made me feel sad…!" This will help your little ones learn to recognize their emotions and how they feel in their body.
Take care of the Earth.
Show your children ways they can help preserve our beautiful planet. Teach them what materials can be recycled and encourage them to throw them in the recycling bin themselves. Teach them to turn the water off when brushing teeth, switch off lights when leaving the room, and minimize food waste.
Buy or make inspiration and affirmation cards.
We love these affirmation cards for kids, which you can find on Etsy.
Volunteer as a family.
Ask your kids who they want to help this year. Participate in a charity walk, volunteer at the food bank, or participate in a beach clean-up day. The opportunities are endless.
Move your bodies every day.
You know we love daily movement and fresh air! A neighborhood walk or scoot, the local playground or finding rocks on a nearby trail or beach all make great toddler-approved activities.
Lastly… put down your devices.
Make this the year that you have no phones, computers, and other devices at mealtime. It's amazing how refreshing and rewarding it is to have a conversation with actual eye contact. Turn your own screens off after a certain time of night, or have dedicated ‘screen-free’ periods during the day.
Finally, remember that our children learn so much from us. If we model these positive behaviors and intentions, they will learn them too! And, as with everything else parenting-related, it takes time, patience, and lots of breaks for yummy wholesome snacks :)
Happy New Year!
From our families to yours,
Joana + Lauren
Read More: Mindfulness For Babies & Toddlers