Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one – Brad Paisley, American musician and songwriter
As the first day of a New Year dawns on us, we begin to feel inspired to try and be different from what we are and do more. We set new goals and resolve to achieve them.
As parents also, we try to do the same, that is, do something different. However, our intentions always remain the same — do the best for our children.
To help you in your endeavour, we have come up with seven novel resolutions that you can adopt. This could well make a difference in your family life in the year 2019. Read on to find out.
- Take better care of yourself: Day-to-day parenting responsibilities does not afford us the opportunity to take time off at regular intervals, more so, if there are young children at home. This can prove to be overwhelming and tiring, and can affect your health. So, it is important for you to remember that, along with being a parent, you are also an individual with your own interests, hobbies, passions and friends. You need to also spend time on these aspects of your life. You also need to keep in mind that, along with taking care of your child's health, you have to look after your physical well-being as well. So, do not neglect health issues or a visit to the doctor when it is due. Self-care is essential.
- Connect with fellow parents for support: With nuclear families becoming the norm today, finding support for yourself as a parent, should be a priority. As you and your spouse navigate through various everyday situations, you might wonder if you are taking the right decisions. Or you may just feel the need to talk to someone who could perhaps give you a new perspective or might have dealt with a similar situation. So, step out and try to cobble together a support system for yourself, especially one that includes fellow parents. And, even when they aren’t able to provide you with the best advice, talking to them can itself make you feel less stressed and healed.
- Spend more quality time together as a family: In today's busy times, this is perhaps the common goal or aim of all parents, as well as others. Yet, year after year, we fail to make this a reality as the pressures of our various responsibilities and struggles, keep us busy. So, try to consciously change the trend this year by being mindful of each other and spending time together. When it is family time, ensure you keep away anything that can prove distracting, like a cell phone or the TV. This will help you bond better. For example, plan a family get-together at a beach or a park instead of a bustling café because you and your family are less likely to feel interrupted or distracted.
- Encourage open communication: When children get the opportunity to communicate at length and more openly with their parents, they feel more emotionally secure. But, to build an open channel of communication, you need to begin giving your child your time and attention. You need listen to what she is saying without being judgemental. To encourage your child to share more of her experiences with you, share some of your experiences.
- Do more for nature: With technology marching into almost every aspect of our lives, we have moved away from nature. Instead of going out, we prefer to spend most of our time indoors in the company of gadgets like the TV or the computer. Also, to make way for humans, we have begun to extract more from nature than we should. This year, plan to replenish nature as a family. Try switching to eco-friendly practices. For example, you could practice waste-segregation, reduce plastic use and utilise reusable products. Then, in your own way, you can help save the planet, as a family!
- Cut down the use of screen-based devices: Cell phones, computers and TV are no longer a luxury but necessities of daily life. Along with helping us carry out daily tasks, we also use these to entertain ourselves. But, nowadays, most of us have begun to cross the line. We have submerged ourselves in the world of these devices. For example, when not studying, children spend time playing video games or watching TV. Adults are usually busy working on computers or browsing or, active on social media. Together with your spouse, plan on cutting down the use of screen-based devices to spend more time with each other and bond better as a family.
- Be more active: Spending time as a family should not be restricted to having meals or watching TV shows together. You can opt to do be physically active too. . For example, playing games like chess can make you more mentally alert. Interacting with neighbours and others in your community can improve your emotional intelligence . You could also opt for activities like swimming running or playing cricket which would keep you and your family physically fit and healthy.
The New year is all about new beginnings. It is also about setting family goals together. Make the most of the upcoming year to become a stronger and more balanced family unit. While doing so, nurture your family’s emotional and physical health.
About the author:
Written by Jasmine Kaur on 31 December 2018.
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