It’s 2021 (finally), and I’m sure we’re all ready for new beginnings and new opportunities. To reach our potential, many people create New Year’s Resolutions to stay focused and goal oriented. But resolutions don’t just have to be for adults, preschoolers and small children can learn and grow with them, too.
While some experts recommend waiting until age 7 to 12 to introduce resolutions to your children, we think it’s never too early to begin teaching children to set a goal and work toward it and also establish routines in their life that will help them as they grow. The key is to make it fun, keep it simple, and if they drop off or miss a few days, it’s okay to dive back in. To help you and your preschool with some ideas, we are sharing some tips to get started.
How to Stick with New Year’s Resolutions
First, adults tend to struggle with keeping their resolutions. Life gets in the way, they get discouraged, they lose focus and once a few days have gone by, the defeatist attitude of “Why bother going back to it?” often gets in the way. Fortunately, kids are optimists at heart generally, so if you make it easy to keep them focused, you can help them stick with their goals and grow through the year.
For children age three to five, they don’t need anything incredibly huge, like learning a new language or something adult-oriented, like working out. Instead, help them focus on healthy, positive ideas. Below, we have some ideas that you can provide and help them put into action.
Set a Time Each Day
If it’s a habitual activity, like brushing teeth twice a day or reading together each day, set aside a time to do it and set a timer.
Get Back in the Saddle
Too often, when we get off track with a goal, we stop it all together. However, this is an opportunity to provide a learning lesson – yes, they may have missed a day or got off track, but they can jump right back in to meet their goal.
Work on the Goal with Your Child
Modeling the behavior that is in the goal, doing the task with your child, or sitting with them while they do it will not only help them to be more successful, you’re setting aside a special time during the day. Also, if they see you doing something, like brushing your teeth or eating your vegetables, you’re more likely to do it too.
Don’t Focus on Willpower
Having a resolution that focuses on “not” having something, like not eating candy, avoiding sugary drinks, and similar goals put to much focus on willpower, which preschoolers don’t really even have or understand. Instead, focus on positive alternatives, such as, “I will try new foods that are on my plate.”
Set Monthly Goals and Rewards
Keep track with a chart or an app that allows you to keep up with your child’s progress on their resolutions. If they do something every day for a week, a small reward is earned, and if they do it every day for a month, they earn a bigger reward (these don’t have to be monetary or a present, they can be whatever would be meaningful to your child).
Types of New Year’s Resolutions for Preschoolers
Here are some age-appropriate, easy to follow resolutions that you could talk about with your preschooler:
- Brushing teeth twice a day;
- Trying every food on my plate, even if it’s something new;
- Picking up my toys at the end of the day or when they are done being used;
- Spend time reading with Mom/Dad each day;
- Be kind to people and animals, and specifically do one random act of kindness for a person each day;
While these may not seem like the resolutions we are used to making as adults, it is important for children to understand the importance of chores and tasks that will ultimately help them grow. The earlier that a child starts learning, the better chance those good habits will stick.
Schedule a Tour of Our Raleigh Preschool Today
At Primary Beginnings, we are dedicated to fostering healthy habits and positive behavior every day. To learn more about our programs, including our preschool and after-school programs, and schedule a tour with our Raleigh preschool, call us today at 919-790-6888 for our Spring Forest Road location and 919-785-0303 for our North Hills Drive Center.