The ancient Babylonians may have been the first to come up with a set of New Year resolutions, hoping to find favor with the gods by turning over a new leaf to do better, vowing to pay off debts and return borrowed farm equipment.
Parents can find a “teachable moment” in this typically adult-centered ritual.
Ponder some ideas about what to resolve to do better, or differently, for the coming year. To get started, here’s a list of health and safety resolutions from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
We first published some of the AAP New Year resolutions for kids in 2012. This year’s update shows more emphasis on practicing kindness, managing stress and limiting screen time.
NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS FOR KIDS
- I will clean up my toys and put them where they belong.
- I will brush my teeth twice a day, and wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
- I will be nice to other kids who need a friend or look sad or lonely.
- I will talk with my parent or a trusted adult when I need help or am scared.
- I will drink reduced-fat milk and water every day, and drink soda and fruit drinks only on special occasions.
- I will apply sunscreen before I go outdoors on bright sunny days. I will try to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I’m playing sports.
- I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week.
- I will always wear a helmet when bicycling.
- I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I’ll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.
- I’ll be nice to other kids. I’ll be friendly to kids who need friends – like someone who is shy, or is new to my school.
- I’ll never give out personal information such as my name, home address, school name or telephone number on the Internet. Also, I’ll never send a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer without my parent’s permission.
- I will try to talk with my parent or a trusted adult when I have a problem or feel stressed.
- I promise to follow our household rules for videogames and internet use.
- I will try to eat two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables every day, and I will drink sodas only on special occasions.
- I will take care of my body through physical activity and nutrition.
- I will choose non-violent television shows and video games, and I will spend only one to two hours each day—at the most—on these activities.
- I will help out in my community—through volunteering, working with community groups or by joining a group that helps people in need.
- When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find constructive ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or discussing my problem with a parent or friend.
- When faced with a difficult decision, I will talk about my choices with an adult whom I can trust.
- When I notice my friends are struggling or engaging in risky behaviors, I will talk with a trusted adult and attempt to find a way that I can help them.
- I will be careful about whom I choose to date, and always treat the other person with respect and without coercion or violence. I will expect the same good behavior in return.
- I will resist peer pressure to try tobacco, drugs or alcohol. I will also avoid the use of e-cigarettes.
- I agree not to use a cellphone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt.