Make the family the heart of your New Year’s resolutions

As the year 2017 comes to a close, many of us find ourselves reflecting on the goals we accomplished and our hopes for the future. This year was no doubt a big one for you, since it marked the occasion when you found out a new little one would soon be joining the family.

Naturally, with a new baby on the way, many of our readers’ 2018 resolutions center around family togetherness. Here’s a top 3 list of “family-friendly” resolutions that you may want to discuss around the dinner table.

  1. Less screen time

    When was the last time you sat down as a family and talked without any screens getting in the way? From phones, to tablets, to laptops, the devices that keep us connected can sometimes keep us apart. And this is one idea that holds just as true for adults as it does for kids (if not more so!) A simple way to make sure screens don’t interrupt family time is to turn them in at the door. Literally, place a bowl or basket near the front door and ask everyone to participate in a nightly drop-off. Are you experiencing digital withdraw at just the thought? You can start small. Try turning in cell phones for the dinner hour, and take baby steps from there.

  2. Family dinners

    Let’s back up a bit. If the idea of turning in the cell phone for family dinners has you thinking, “uh, what family dinner?” we may need to go back to the basics. And trust me, there’s no judgement here! Between work deadlines, going to the gym (ha!), school pickups and social engagements, it’s easy for family dinners to go by the wayside. If this is a value that’s important to you, remember, start small! Instead of committing to seven nights a week of quality family time at the dinner table, how about starting with a Tuesday-night only commitment? There’s usually not too much going on a Tuesday. Too tired to cook? Maybe you could start a new tradition called “Tuesday takeout night.” I can see the kids getting excited already. Still can’t pull it off? There’s always Saturday morning family breakfast!

  3. Fun and games

    Now that we’ve talked about putting away the phones and eating your vegetables (or takeout), how’s about we have a little fun? Take a minute to think about it. When you aren’t attending another baby shower or taking turns schlepping the dog to the vet, what do you do for fun? What do you wish you were doing for fun? Maybe seeing new releases at an actual brick and mortar theater is your thing. Maybe you and your partner enjoy playing a game of pool at the place down the street. Maybe going for early morning hikes is what really helps you reconnect. If this baby isn’t your first, spending time together might look like heading to the playground or hosting a backyard barbecue. It’s easy to fall into a rut and just fulfill the obligations on the calendar. But take some time to really think about it: if you had a truly free afternoon, how would you actually like to spend it as a family?

2018 is already set up to be a great one for you and your family with that new little nugget scheduled to arrive this year (or who may have already made an appearance!) We hope you can carve out a little time to celebrate the good times from the year past and focus on some hopes and dreams for the future.