Q: Should resolutions and goals be encouraged in the New Year?
A: Rather than set resolutions, I find it more helpful to reevaluate and establish goals for a new year -- and young learners can be encouraged to do the same.
Perhaps it’s a matter of semantics but making New Year’s resolutions has never been my jam. The idea of proclaiming strong declarations seemed too rigid for my personal taste. Resolute denotes a heaviness that my life couldn’t carry as a mother, career woman, educator and advocate. I learned very early: working with children is not conducive to rigid structures.
Helping children identify what’s important to their growth and development should be fun, interesting and kid-friendly. Areas that are significant to an adult, such as health and wellbeing, financial empowerment and special interests, can be explained at a child’s level of understanding.
For example, a goal to “get more exercise” for an adult can be defined more clearly as “run around and play outside for thirty minutes a day” to a child. Or an adult’s “explore new hobbies” for a child may mean “learn a new dance routine and perform for the family.” Simplistic but achievable goals that are kid-friendly and interesting will promote setting goals into adulthood.
Parents and teachers can help with offering a challenge goal to push personal growth. One challenge goal I have this year is to eat fewer sweets. Perhaps for a young learner their challenge goal can focus on behavior management or at-home responsibilities.
Be sure to celebrate and encourage throughout the year to show importance of monitoring and accomplishing them.