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  • The Best New Year's Resolution For Moms And Dads This Year (It's Definitely Worth A Try!)

    It's never too late to want to become a better parent. Here's a simple way to start.
    by Rachel Perez .
The Best New Year's Resolution For Moms And Dads This Year (It's Definitely Worth A Try!)
  • New Year's Resolutions often don't stick longer than maybe three to six months, if you're lucky -- accounting for the reset you needed during the Chinese New Year. But if the willingness to be there is in you, don't make a big deal about slip-ups.

    "Kids don't need perfection from parents. What they need is a parent who accepts them with all their imperfections, models compassion and respect, and apologizes and reconnects when things go wrong -- as they inevitably do," writes Dr. Laura Markham, a clinical psychologist and author of the book series Peaceful Parent.

    Dr. Markham explains in Aha! Parenting, that going big is one of the reasons New Year's resolutions don't succeed. Another reason is that "most resolutions are a wish, not a plan," she added. Without concrete actions, you might not feel like it's making a difference, which is another reason why resolutions end up abandoned.

    So if you stick to one or a few New Year's resolutions, it's going to be more manageable to commit to going forward. And if there's one resolution that you must strive to keep throughout the year (and a new decade!), it's this: to be more present with your kids.

    How to be more present with your children

    We've written about it many times. Kids value time and attention more; they're less stressed when they're with their parents. They will remember family vacations with their mom and dad better than any toy they received. Happy memories with family and friends are what they will bring with them until old age — it's good for the health).

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    It seems like a daunting task, yes. There are only 24 hours in a day, and that's not even enough for many working parents' to-do lists. If you're stay-home parents, you might want more adult company because you're with your children the whole day.

    Set a regular time to spend with your child.

    Being present means you are giving your children your full attention, and you have it to them regularly. Start with even just ten minutes a day — or whatever you can commit to. Doing so boosts their self-esteem, which benefits their creativity, social skills, and more.

    Put down your phone.

    It's the best gift you can give your children this year, to be able to spend time with your children without the distraction of your phone and other gadgets. They feel neglected and unimportant when you're always on your phone. Unplug and appreciate what's in front of you.

    Let your little one call the shots.

    Prepare to be silly and go along with the activities or games your child wants to play, with reasonable limitations, of course. Be interested in what your little one has to say or wants to show you. (Click here for activities children actually want to do with their parents.)

    There are many perks to spending quality time with your kids. It doesn't only benefit their development, but your relationship with them as well. You get to know them and parent them in the best way they respond to (read: less shouting, hopefully).

    Regularly having time to focus on your children may also help you do the same when you spend time with your partner and yourself, too! With the fast-paced world today, quality time is both a gift and a great tool to better our way of life.

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    If you find yourself neglecting this resolution, don't fret. You are your child's first teacher, and dealing with failure is one of your lesson plans. It's good that you're aware, so then you can reset and try again until being present and engaged with your kids becomes a habit.

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