The best family-friendly New Year’s resolutions are those that create more fun, laughter, and love in the family. Some resolutions, like eating more healthfully, sound good on paper but tend to fail because they lack this “fun” factor. As a result, they become a burden which can cause conflict, guilt, or stress in the family.
This year, drop the high ambitions and aim for something that will make your family happier and more tight-knit. You want to make good memories that your kids will look back on and smile. Below are some ideas to help you create your own family-friendly New Year’s resolutions.
5 Excellent Family-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions
Start a family night
Families that have fun together plan to have fun. They make family time a routine, part of their schedule, rather than an occasional, spontaneous event. While spontaneity has its place, it’s less reliable than scheduling time together, especially when several people are involved.
Once you’ve established a family night, you can brainstorm things to do together, or else take turns choosing what to do. Movies and games are popular choices among many families, but you could do anything. Play instruments, go bowling or roller skating, watch cat videos on Youtube, listen to a podcast while drawing… Whatever, as long as you enjoy it together.
If you’ve recently moved, one idea for a cheap family activity is to gather up your moving boxes to create cardboard masterpieces or a life-sized game of tic-tac-toe.
Learn something together
As kids get older, it’s normal for everyone to start doing their own thing. You might even have totally different hobbies or interests. While these hobbies are good, they do take time away from the family, so that everyone is in their own world.
One way to bring everyone back together is by finding something everyone wants to learn. This could be anything: origami, dancing, drawing, skateboarding, a foreign language, etc. You can find tutorials and videos online for nearly anything. How in-depth you go is up to you.
If your family is competitive about learning, try to choose a group learning activity so no one will feel “better” or “worse” the rest. For instance, you could learn how to make healthy meals together. You could go through a cookbook or try to imitate something you saw on TV. Then, everyone will be working together to make one thing instead of competing.
Have dinner together
Recent research has revealed a link between family dinners and healthy children. Statistically, kids who sit down to eat with their parents have healthier diets, better communication skills, and higher grade-point averages. They’re also happier and more resilient.
Though family dinners aren’t a magic bullet for every problem, they do create time for connection and communication between parents and siblings, deepening their relationship over time. Routinely sitting together for a meal is a simple act that can have a big impact on a family’s happiness and sense of closeness.
If you already have dinner together, think about how you can improve the quality of your shared dinnertime. Do you eat in silence while looking at your phones? Do you spend the whole time stressed about something? Do you argue?
Not every dinner needs to be perfect, of course. What’s important is the general trend. Dinnertime is an opportunity to laugh, talk, and stay connected with each other. If you don’t think about it, this opportunity can be easy to miss.
Go outside on adventures
Some of the best childhood memories take place outside. Activities like swimming, boating, hiking, playing in the backyard, or picnicking at a park are all family-friendly and memorable. Why not resolve to do more of those kinds of activities together?
Though outdoor adventures take more effort and planning than, say, watching a movie together, they are ultimately what will stick most in your kids’ memory. But even if your kids forget the camping trip or that time you played frisbee together, they will remember how their family went out and did things together.
Create holiday traditions
Traditions are important because they help build a sense of unity, stability, and closeness in the family. If traditions are connected with positive memories, like opening gifts at Christmas, they can become a source of comfort and happiness as well.
For these reasons, it’s worthwhile to think about what traditions you can create as a family, especially around holidays. You might already have unique family traditions for certain holidays like Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day, but what about other holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s? Do you eat or do something special together?
Holiday traditions don’t have to be elaborate. It can be as simple as having a special meal everyone likes. Creating a new tradition can be an easy resolution to make—but it’s nevertheless a great way to strengthen your family and have fun.