By Nadine Bubeck
Photo by J. Anthony Martinez Photography
I’m not the biggest fan of New Year’s resolutions as they often leave me feeling defeated. However, I do believe there’s value in setting high hopes for a fresh year. As we begin 2022, here are eight doable goals for families who seek making home life more harmonious.
Start a Special Weekly or Monthly Ritual
My kids love board games and I often find myself putting off playing due to being distracted with work, cleaning, cooking, and more. However, starting a dedicated and consistent ritual would hold our entire family accountable for partaking in fun-filled activities. If weekly is too much pressure, determine a monthly family game night, movie night, craft night, or other type of night that fits your family best. Let each child offer their choice of activity and take turns implementing.
Prioritize Eating Dinner Together
I know eating dinner as a family every night is often unattainable. With that being said, when families dine together, it helps them handle the stresses of daily life. It’s a nice time to debrief the day and talk things through as a unit. To get your kids chatting, play Two Highs, One Low—ask them to name two amazing things that happened that day and express one thing they found challenging.
We get sick days, right? Why not take a “well day” and do something fun occasionally? When I was young, my mom would let me play hooky every so often—we’d do something sporadic, and it meant the world to me. Life moves fast and even kids need time to reboot, and sometimes a simple day off and quality time does the trick.
Take The Trip
Instill in your kids to value making memories over monetary things. The pandemic has reminded our family to take advantage of time and live life to the fullest, and so we’ve taken every opportunity to travel. People don’t take trips; trips take people and exposing your kids to exploration and adventure will only shape them into more cultured, well-rounded individuals.
Pay It Forward
Make a list of various ways your family wants to help others this year, then determine a plan to make them happen. One idea is to ask your kids to choose some toys they’ve outgrown to donate to a shelter—it’s simple, but the lessons learned are so important.
Exercise is the most cliché New Year’s resolution, so give it a fresh family-infused approach. For older kids, decide to train for a 5K together or do regular hikes in your area. Bike ride to lunch on the weekends or simply play catch with your kids in the yard. Lay a strong foundation of making exercise fun.
Decide to digitally detach during specific times, such as for dinner or certain times during the evening. Put the phone down and focus on being 100% present for yourself and your family. It’s amazing how rewarding it is to have a conversation with actual eye contact! In other words, connect by disconnecting.
Honor Your Child’s Individuality
I have three young boys and they’re all very different. While one is creative and crafty, the other is all about sports, and my toddler just loves to play. Make sure to get time with each of your kids individually, honoring their interests even if they’re not necessarily yours. Spending that special quality time will only strengthen your bond and help boost your child’s self-esteem.
Nadine Bubeck is a former news anchor turned all things mama. She is a TV parenting/lifestyle/travel contributor, author, influencer, and blessed boy mom times three. Learn more at nadinebubeck.com and on Instagram @mamaandmyboys. Her eldest, Nicholas, is CEO of creationsbynicholas.com.