Sunday, January 8, 2017


It feels like we are in the afterglow of Christmas day.  The busyness of Christmas, such as present buying, home decorating, baking and company staying over are now past. We can now settle, take a long breath and relax before it is time to go back to work. Where did last year go?  Did we fulfill any of our 2016 resolutions?  In fact, do we even remember what our last year’s resolutions were?
We can make resolutions any time, but it always seems that, when turning the corner into a new year, it is an appropriate opportunity to visit our hopes and dreams and work to make them a reality. The most common resolution seems to revolve around body image and health…I am going to lose 50 pounds.  I am going to stop smoking/drinking, or I am going to cut down the number of sodas I drink and/or candy I eat.  Some resolutions relate to a change of vocation, going to school to acquire a qualification that will proffer me a better job or applying for jobs with greater challenge and more pay.  Other resolutions might be in managing ourselves e.g. becoming better equipped to handle stress, managing our time more effectively, becoming more tolerant, forgiving others, asking forgiveness or being a more effective role model.  All of these resolutions are about us.


I wonder how many of us think about resolutions that will cause a positive effect on our families and particularly our children?  A survey was performed soon after the September 11th Twin Towers disaster.  Children were asked what they most wanted and needed from their parents.  The resounding answer was TIME and LOVE.  I fear that our kids are getting less and less of both time and love as our lives become so complicated by the choices we make concerning the ‘necessities of life’.  Housing and the cost of living means we have to work longer hours to live what we consider ‘a reasonable lifestyle’.  Parents wanting to follow their own hobbies and dreams above the needs of their children means that they are not available when kids need them most.  It seems, in many cases, others have more input into our children’s lives than we do. 

So, what family resolutions can we create to ensure that each member of our family gets the time and love they need. Here are some suggestions:

    * Create strong family values and teach these to your kids - values such as  honesty,
               respect, loyalty, taking responsibility, timeliness and selflessness.

    * Ensure that the expectations you have for your children are modeled by you.

    * Create a timetable to address all family activities and assign all family members
              responsibilities on that schedule.  By doing this, time can also be allotted for
              fun family activities.

    * Make time for each child to experience one-on-one parental attention.  Tell your
                child you love and appreciate their many attributes. 

    * Ensure that each person in the family has the opportunity to express their own
               hopes and dreams and make ways possible for them to achieve them.

     * Teach them how to create goals to achieve and reward successes along the way.

    * Conduct regular family meetings to review the success or progress of yearly
              resolutions.  Encourage each family member to state the good things about
              family life and also what concerns them.  Work out resolutions.  Have each
              person discuss how their own dreams are coming to fruition and how the    
              family might help if necessary.   

    * Make sure that in your schedule you include whole family participation such as
              game days, vacation times, projects all family members can enjoy and time to
              be spent helping others.
There are many ways to create resolutions that will lead to a purpose-filled life.  The best way to teach your kids how, is to be modeling it within your family.  Maybe you could make this your New Year’s resolution for 2017.

Written by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families

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