Jumpstart January with Essential Parent Resolutions

Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs. So this year, remember just that.

"I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures.” ― L.M. Montgomery

If you’re the goal-oriented type, like me, start making some resolutions and make an action plan to stick by them

1). Talk and play by the words of The Speechies Manifesto

2). Build routines - Creating routines for your child, no matter how old or young, is so important. Children thrive on structure, it gives them security and helps with self-regulation. It allows for children to know their expectations and usually they cooperate a bit more easily too. Change is difficult for all of us, so changing one thing at a time for your kiddo before establishing a full routine all at once. Create a routine for the morning, mealtime, and bedtime... in the end, it will give more time for you.

3). Teach competence - Toddlers especially are always wanting to do things on their own. However, they also typically have a low frustration tolerance. As a parent, there is only so much encouragement you can provide before your child has a complete meltdown. And it can be difficult to stop and find patience to allow them to complete a task independently when its just faster to do it for them sometimes.

First, model the behavior. Whether its buttoning, zipping, or tying... get your child’s attention and narrate exactly what you’re doing while they watch. Next, try active teaching by setting up the task, then slowly allow them to do more and more as they gain confidence. Lastly, and probably most importantly, praise them for a specific great thing they did. For example, “I love the way you buttoned that shirt all by yourself!”

4). Say no to “no” - We’ve heard it before, and it can be really difficult to do. But try to use “no” less. Instead of “No hitting,” try “Hands to yourself.”  Instead of “no yelling” try “Use a soft voice.” Explain the desired behavior you want your child to show, rather than the behavior you want them to stop.

5). Family resolutions - If your child is old enough (3 and up), start creating responsibility and goals for them too. A resolution as simple as “cleaning up toys,” “washing hands more often,” and “saying please and thank-you,” can give your child a good sense of daily accomplishment. Keeping a reward chart can also be greatly motivating. Its another fantastic way to give your child specific praise for the great things they do everyday. Consistent praise is a way to recreate a desire behavior from your child, and its true that every kid loves a cheerleader.

Some of my annual resolutions have always been to take more pictures, floss daily, and show more appreciation to the people I love the most. This year, I’m adding a goal to empower and support parents and caregivers to be experts in language development for the children that are so important in their lives.


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