Habits. Everyone knows the struggle of trying to break them. It’s not all bad news though; this fact is the key to sticking to New Year’s resolutions.“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” ―
As a tradition, New Year’s resolutions have a very well-known track record: Whether you want to lose weight, stop biting your nails, or any other worthy goal, you start off strong, but fizzle out by the time March comes around. For many people, this leads to sadness, and anger at themselves.
Is your child forming a New Year’s resolution? Talk to them about it. Unrealistic expectations may only set them up for failure. That isn’t to say they shouldn’t be optimistic. Let them know they can succeed, but gently encourage them to make plans as to how to make sure it comes to fruition.
In setting up a resolution, it’s important not to only look forward, but backwards, as well. Think about and discuss the incidents and circumstances that let to your child wanting to accomplish this. Was it an embarrassing moment? A success, perhaps? Looking back is important because unresolved issues can make it hard to succeed in a New Year’s resolution; failure may call the memory of past events to mind and make it difficult to stay the path. All too often, disappointment leads to giving up.
Let’s take for example a child who wants to lose weight. Let them know that, though you’re proud of them for taking steps towards better health and fitness, you love them exactly as they are. They might want to set up a resolution to eat no fried foods or sweets. Such extreme goals are not only unnecessary, but difficult to maintain. Instead, help them set up a plan to gradually cut down on fattening foods over a period of a few months. Work to introduce exercises of increasing frequency and intensity.
Actions and your habit’s
Are you seeing a theme here? It’s difficult to stick to something that is a huge change from the normal routine. Indeed, hoping and expecting to succeed in that regard will likely result in disappointment. As the cliché goes, “Slow and steady wins the race.”
At this point, it’s important to understand something as a parent, a lesson that is crucial to impart to your children: Failure is a part of life. As with New Year’s resolutions and with just about everything else, if you don’t succeed right away, it doesn’t mean you are any less of a person.
Resolved your habits
In other words, when failure happens, it’s okay to feel bad about it, but don’t let it overwhelm you, and encourage your child not to do the same. Take a look at the circumstances surrounding the failure. What lessons can be learned from it? How can you do better in the future?
Finally, as a parent, don’t neglect yourself. Remember: It isn’t your fault your child is depressed. Take time to take care of your own wellbeing, too. Even five to ten minutes of self-pampering a day can help prevent you from burning out. Make that one of yourNew Year’s resolutions!