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Should kids have New Year’s resolutions?

New Year’s resolutions are a tradition the world over, with people swearing they’re going to drop ten pounds, find a higher-paying job, fix any number of other issues, or add healthy habits to their lifestyles. Whether or not they keep them, resolutions are great opportunities to bring healthy change into one’s life (of course, keeping them in the long run is the more preferred result!).

But should kids participate in this tradition? It may seem harmless on the surface, but think of it this way: kids are going through many different developmental stages at the same time, searching for the self-realizations that will eventually anchor their personalities, their bodies, and their interests. If they get socially popular resolutions thrown at them every year, could it make their self-discovery and growth more confusing or full of guilt if they don’t feel they’re living up to certain expectations?

According to surveys, adults have 10 main resolutions they’re making for 2014:

  • Lose weight
  • Get organized
  • Enjoy life more fully
  • Stay fit and healthy
  • Learn something new
  • Quit smoking
  • Spend less and save more
  • Fall in love
  • Spend more time with family
  • Help others fulfill their dreams

Most of these are good goals in themselves, but how can they be scaled down a bit so kids can still enjoy their childhood years without the pressure of feeling like they need to grow up too quickly? Here are some suggestions!

  • Eat healthier snacks, instead of junk food
  • Clean their room at least once a week
  • Try their best in school
  • Get along more with siblings
  • Listen to parents
  • Exercise a half hour each day (maybe with Pilates?)
  • Spend less time on electronic devices
  • Read more each day
  • Learn to save money from allowance
  • Be nice to more people—even those you don’t always get along with

What about you? What resolutions are you making for 2014? Are your kids making any as well? It can certainly be a great family tradition to form resolutions together and then keep one another accountable as the months wear on.

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