The beginning of a new year brings us the opportunity to reflect on our past and make plans for our future. Oftentimes, during the last days of December or the first days of January, we make resolutions for ways that we want to live in the new year. The resolution most often made is to improve our health by eating and exercising in a healthy way. But have you ever thought about making resolutions for ways you might improve your child’s life? Or your family’s life? I want to offer several resolutions for your consideration:
Make it a habit to have your child in Sunday School and worship each week. Foundations of faith are being laid during these childhood years. Your child needs consistent attendance so that he can benefit fully from the biblical teaching that is being offered. Attending consistently also helps children make friends and feel a part of the group. This applies to babies and little ones too. Babies need to feel that church is a special place where they are loved and nurtured.
Read the Bible at home with your child. As you know, reading aloud to your child is important to his or her growth and development. Snuggling together to read builds bonds that can last forever. As you read, use a Children’s Bible regularly. On Sundays, you can use the Sunday School take-home leaflet to review the morning’s story. When completing a Bible story, ask questions to review the text. As you do this, you will be adding to his or her biblical knowledge one step at a time.
Allow your child to participate in only 1 extracurricular activity at a time. Our community offers a host of sports leagues, arts classes, clubs, etc. Remind yourself that your child doesn’t need to do all of them all the time. Limit your child to one activity per season (outside of church and home.) This helps your child focus on one skill at a time to determine if he or she really likes that activity. Limiting your schedule to one activity also allows for important down-time at home and family meals at dinnertime. If you are not careful, you find yourself on the highway every evening, battling traffic instead of enjoying family time at home.
Make family time a priority for each week. As you discuss each week’s schedule, look for ways that you can intentionally spend time as a family. Have Family Game Nights on Fridays, or Movie Night on Saturdays, or plan a family outing for the weekend. These types of activities build family memories. You want your child to have “roots” that are built on the love shared during family time.
Make a resolution to pass on your family values to your children. Look for opportunities to talk with your children about the things you believe most deeply. Don’t let the busy-ness of family life get in the way of having meaningful conversations at the dinner table or in the den after supper. Also, one of the ways we influence our children’s values is in the way we treat them each day. Teaching our children with respect teaches them to go and do likewise. Being fair with our children makes them want to be fair to their friends and others.
I hope you will ponder this list of resolutions as you begin a new year. Just select one at a time to resolve to work on. As you do, I think you will see amazing things happen in your family life!