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Capture in words and photos the moments of your life with your child. Record them, keep them, and share them at the end of the year.
Try new activities to help your child step outside of his or her comfort zone. For example: Conquer a fear of heights with indoor rock climbing.
Empower your child! Listen to his or her ideas and provide appropriate opportunities for your child to participate in decision-making.
Together, create a list of your family’s favorite healthy snacks and meals. Work to integrate these into your regular eating habits to stay healthy.
Set high, but realistic expectations. Make sure you set goals that help your kids reach their personal best.
For New Year’s, have a family gathering and go around the group, letting each person share one favorite memory from the past year and one struggle he or she overcame. Go around the circle again and let everyone share one goal for the new year.
Help your kids set New Year’s resolutions and stick with them. Talk about the ups and downs of change and how resolutions can be easy to accomplish on some days and not on others.
Show courtesy to family members in public and at home.
Expect more conflict over boundaries as kids go through transition stages, such as beginning to walk, first going to school, entering puberty, or becoming more independent during the high-school years.
Be consistent with the boundaries you set and what you do when they’re violated. Kids are quick to pick up on rules that you don’t enforce.
Notice and comment when your child does something well. Be specific.
Let your child earn more freedoms as he or she shows more responsibility.
Thank the adults who take an active interest in your child.
If you don’t live with your child’s other parent, remember that it can be particularly stressful for your child when he or she is splitting holiday time between parents. Be sensitive to that and make it as easy as possible for your child to enjoy time with both parents.
Help children understand that some rules change as brothers and sisters reach different ages.
When you gather with family and friends for a holiday meal, put your child in charge of entertainment.
Make boundaries positive, simple, and within reason.
As much as possible, continue traditions started when your children were younger. Though they are growing and changing, it’s important for them to trust that there is continuity and consistency in life.
Remind your child that it’s okay to fail sometimes. Failure is an opportunity to learn about oneself and succeed in the future.
Include holiday giving (such as giving money to charity) as part of your holiday spending. See which organizations your kids want to support.