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Posted on Sun, Dec 12, 2010 : 6 a.m.

Tips for setting New Year's resolutions for kids and families

By Angela Verges

Is it too early to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions? Not for me. It may take awhile to wrap my mind around the idea of change. This is the time of year that we reflect on accomplishments of the current year (or the things we wish we had accomplished). It is also time to plan for the year ahead.

Many of the articles I have read lately focus on New Year’s resolutions for kids or families. On the eHealth website there is a list of resolution ideas for kids. Here are a few highlights:

• I will clean up my toys.
• I will brush my teeth twice a day.

I find that both of these resolutions are still befitting my tween and teen. The only difference is that the toys have changed.

5-12 year olds
• I will drink milk and water and limit soda and fruit drinks.
• I will find a sport or an activity (playing tag, jumping rope, dancing, riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week.
• I’ll be nice to other kids. I’ll be friendly to kids who need friends, like someone who is shy or new to my school.

13 year olds and up
• I will eat at least one fruit and one vegetable every day and limit the amount of soda I drink.
• I will help out in the community through volunteering, working with community groups or by joining a group that helps people in need.
• When faced with a difficult situation I will talk with an adult about my choices.

A complete list of healthy New Year’s resolutions can be found at

As with setting rules, it is a good idea to limit the amount of resolutions and keep them simple. Simple and concise resolutions are more attainable. Setting resolutions with children helps to teach them about goal-setting.

Another option for setting a New Year’s resolution is to make the resolution about bringing your family closer together. This is yet another opportunity to get the whole family working as one unit. Kids can help to create a list of resolutions. What better New Year’s resolution than one to strengthen your family ties?

Whether you decide to go with traditional resolutions (weight loss, eating healthier, exercise, etc.) or involve the whole family, it can be a rewarding experience. There is something about putting things in writing that makes you more accountable, even if it’s only to yourself.

It’s time to start thinking about the year to come. What are your expectations for the new year?

Angela Verges is a writer and mother of two. She can be reached at


Angela Verges

Mon, Dec 13, 2010 : 10:47 a.m.

Thanks, Megan. I think a written contract is a great idea.


Sun, Dec 12, 2010 : 1:26 p.m.

great article, angela!! another step further might be to instate a written "contract", with these behavioral expectations clearly written out. you and your child can sign it, as an agreement, and a way to hold the child accountable.