Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Years Resolutions for Kids

Ever since starting my business www.brisbanekids.com.au life has got busy and busier. I also study and help my husbands business and have all sorts of family commitments, so hectic is often a reasonable adjective for my life.  While on holidays in beach land this summer I decided that I needed to become a bit more grounded..
I am an absolute goal maker- New years, New Moons, I need to no excuse to pull out a random notebook and write some goals to complete. Long, short, medium, spiritual, health, money etc.. I have them all and I DO reckon goals work. So this new years I decided on top of my goals I would also write parent specific goals . I ignored the mantra ‘new years resolutions don’t work’ and decided I would make them work- so here they are.
1.  Three books for each child each day… I am pretty habitual with reading- BUT I admit I am fond of the younger one falling asleep before I get to reading him his book.. poor Tom. Part B of this resolution is no more skipping pages when I read.. I don’t do it often BUT as book lengths increase.. 3 books per child has become a long long process and I have skipped through Winter in the Winner the Pooh Seasons Book nmore than once- instead I am going to make more time for reading which will mean less tv.. less dishes (who cares about the tv & dishes anyway)
2.  Start a pocket money system Every Friday the boys and I are going to do some gardening, and as payment I will give them some coins to put in their money box. Obviously Tom, almost 2 wont do much of anything,, but I swear he knows more than he is letting on. Right now our 3 yr old pilfers money from all around the house and stashes it in his money box, so I think it is time for him to learn that money doesnt grow in the couch. 
3.  Bake something healthyish every week. I say healthyish because really isn’t chocolate good for you? Well every week I am going to find something YUM and bake it for the boys- I will blog these if they are any good - feel free to submit your recipes.
4.  Visit one playground per week This sounds like a lot, but we sort of do this now- I just want to commit to it. It simply means getting outside, getting the boys physical and working on their gross motor skills. It is so easy to stay home and not go but NO MORE 
5.  Allocate a hardcore authentic art & craft hour a week   I say hardcore cause I do a fair bit of craft now, bits here, bits there BUT I admit I steer them towards chalk and watercolour and away from the big juice jugs sized craft paints- (what was I thinking when I bought them- I was 8 month pregnant with my first, and really didn’t get why I wouldnt want to paint EVERY day) – I figure one hour per week of absolute mess will be ok in my life.. I hope.  In addition I am going to try and find ways to make the art authentic- paint old pots to put plants in, make wrapping paper.. Give their art some value.
6.  Hug more Yell Less  I want to be remembered as a loving mother not a yelling one, so am going to try reaaaaaallly hard to care less about the little things. To try and see that my 3yr old has great thought behind his decision to jump into a puddle with his best clothes on.. From his perspective why wouldn’t you? I am introducing ‘group hugs’ effective immediately.
7.  Visit the library at least once a month. We used to go once a week, but my seriously hyperactive 3 yr old has made these more of an activity I prefer to do in moderation- not to say he doesn’t love it. We play on the kids computer, borrow books, look at books and then finish with a ride on the swings outside. I am a major advocate of kids being introduced to libraries early. I think kids should be aware of the community around them and know how to access them. If you haven’t been to you local library before- GO! Its free, they often have heaps of kids activities and it promotes early literacy- which means you are setting your kids up for success.
8. Do the ‘what I am grateful for I got this from a mum who is on facebook- I cant remember who or I would give credit- But I have begun asking prior to my kids going to sleep ‘what are you grateful for today? what did you like? what are you happy that happened”..Its obvious how this activity breeds love and compassion into the hearts of anyone.. I LOVE IT
9. Try to stress less about the mess I have two boys under 3- keeping my house clean SUX. There is no solution- I am going to attempt to declutter but that’s all I can really do.. I am just going to focus on keeping my sink clean and the sliding door glass clean.. the rest can wait til I get rich and hire a cleaner.

10.  Find three ways each day to tell my kids that something about them is wonderful I think I do this naturally, maybe.. but I want to make sure I am taking the time to care about their little differences.. ie “Jack I think you are so special to know the name of every dinosaur in the world- how amazing!!”.. This is a bit lame I agree but not unrealistic- and Jack would be stoked I thought him knowing this was cool… Really - I think it is also about me trying to be sure that I am being careful with what I say more, aware off the impact my words can have. … I had a friend and her daughters over last week, one a beautiful 9 year old girl, and I said something I really think I shouldnt have..It was only something small but still made me feel awful! A bit like I imagine telling a kid that Santa isnt real. It made me aware, that as a mum of littlies we still continue to talk without being too guarded, and I became aware that I really need to practice 'adult' speech before my 3 yr old is nine.. and repeats me at school AH!

So no.. the goals arent necessarily SMART all the way, but they are attainable, realistic and somewhat specific- so that will do me for now... AND yes.. I probably do need less goals and to just relax, be patient and take it easy.. and I will try that too.. Actually- that was one of MY new years resolutions anyway.



Grace and Julianne Burke said...

Omg, this post could have been written by me. Glad to hear that another mum is into writing down goals. I have a 1,3,5, and 7 year old and never find the time to do the fun and educational stuff with my kids just the mundane stuff which can get you down. All the best with the resolutions and I look forward to hearing how you go. Hope you don't mind if I steal your list as my own ;)

Jenni said...

I saw a great craft idea on the martha stewart show the other day which you might like, called "Munny Dolls". They are these cute little plain white figurines that you can decorate however you like and they come in all these cute shapes and sizes. Was thinking about getting some for myself. Found them for sale on a web page, http://sites.kidrobot.com/munnyworld/ but they were saying you can also get them on e-bay.

Happy New Year Ngaire. xxx

brisbanekids said...

Grace and Julliane- Steal away

Jenni- I headed there right now!! thanks a lot

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