I need to lose 15 lbs. I want to save $1000 this year. Today is the first day of 2014 and you are probably being bombarded with competing marketing messages of new products that will give you the edge or make your greatest dreams come true. I’m not going to sell you anything. I’m not going to make you lofty promises that the resolutions in this post will be easy or even that they will change your life over night. However, I will make you a promise. I’ll promise you that the following 3 TRU Parenting resolutions…
- Will change your life for the better.
- Are valuable in and of themselves, regardless of outside changes in your children.
- Will enhance every area of your life.
- Will put cycles in motion that will affect you, your family and generations to come.
Statistically, only half of people anywhere will even consider setting resolutions at all but I don’t just want you to set these resolutions. Rather, I want you to succeed and make these resolutions stick and become a powerful force for good in your life and the life of your family!
If you’ve been around TRU Parenting for a while you may recognize the topics of the acronym “TRU.”
Let’s all resolve to make improvements in each of these areas of our parenting this year. I’ve prepared a small list of TRU Parenting skills and a brief explanation of each one. I encourage everyone to pick one from each category to resolve to do this year. Some you may already be doing. Some you may never have done, and others maybe you just need a little work on. Focus on one and take a look at our post on setting resolutions that stick to make sure these resolutions don’t fall by the wayside.
- Stop the yelling: This one is pretty self explanatory and depending on your life experience and temperament may or may not be a difficult one for you. Make a serious concerted effort to find other ways to respond to your children and discipline. If yelling is a struggle for you, www.theorangerhino.com and the Parenting Beyond Punishment Facebook page both have a no yelling challenge and great resources to help you.
- Teach during the good times: Establish a weekly time to create opportunities to teach positive principles of character and discipline in a fun and exciting atmosphere. Have a family game night. Find other opportunities throughout the week to read to or with your child and teach skills and values.
- Learn about and set clear and reasonable consequences, then follow through: Understanding and following through with appropriate limits and consequences is one of the most important elements of successful discipline and teaching, but can be a difficult thing to carry out. Learn more about effective ways to deliver consequences, read books, and check out our ebook. Then, practice.
- Devote more time: This may mean that you spend a little more time at dinner or bedtime. It may mean that you carve out time on Saturdays. The point is that we take a serious look at our priorities and time and find just a little more for the things and people that matter most. You may have to start with just a few minutes a day or time on the weekend. It depends on you and your schedule but we all have a little time somewhere that we can devote to what really matters.
- Go Hands Free: I’ve mentioned Rachel Stafford’s book several times in recent posts but the message is that we put down our electronic devices and distractions and give greater attention to those we are with. Not only can we give more time but better quality time when we are with our kids and our spouse.
- Learn a new activity or skill with your child: Find something that is age appropriate for your child and something that will allow you to learn together and participate in shared meaning and experiences. This will give you more to talk about and opportunities to bond, learn and grow together.
3. Upgrade yourself:
- Improve your physical health: I have a friend that lost over 100 lbs. a couple years ago and he has shared with me and others multiple times how this single things has given him freedom that he never would have imagined. We cannot always have full control over our health but we can almost always have some influence and impact on our health in some way. When we feel good, we act and respond better. Life is easier to live and stress is not so debilitating.
- Improve your stress management: Learn to relax and recognize your stress as helpful and preparatory to meeting life’s challenges. Do exercises and change your thinking in ways that promotes well being and improves coping.
- Tackle a dream: So often when I ask client’s what their dream is they think I’m referring to something financial, a dream job or something like that. That is fine if that is a dream for you but it could be anything. Identify and pursue your heart’s passion. Don’t do it all at once but piece by piece, little by little. Do something that contributes and goes beyond just getting by. Do something that has meaning to you and makes you feel purposeful.
The new year is an opportunity for a new start, if only symbolically. It provides a sense of separation from what has passed and ushers in an invitation to do something more, to be a little better, not because last year was not great but because there is still greater potential. It’s a new chapter of sorts in your book of life. “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…” (Alfred Tennyson).
Let’s make a resolution this year to be a TRU Parent. Happy New Year!
Question: Which TRU Parenting resolutions are you making this year? How can we help you accomplish your resolutions?
For 4 more great resolutions that will change your child’s life, check out Katie Hurley’s (www.practicalkatie.com) article, “4 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Change Your Child’s Life.”
Don’t forget to download your FREE copy of “5 Jump Starters for Powerful Family Cycles: Creating Happier and More Effective Parenting THIS Week!”