New Year Tips

The year 2013 is quickly rolling in. Now is the time to reflect, with your child, on the accomplishments of the past year, and make resolutions for actions in the new year. Children can participate in this long standing tradition, with your help. The following New Year tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). They are great resolutions and can prove useful while helping your child choose resolutions, or goals, for the coming year. Remember to make goals attainable, simple, and fewer works better than many. Set dates in the year to review resolutions (put them on your calendar). Have A Wonderful And Safe 2013!

Preschoolers resolutions should focus on:

Cleaning up toys

Brushing teeth

Washing hands

Being kind to pets

Parents who consider these behaviors part of their regular expectations may want to provide resolutions that focus on higher goals.

Kids, 5- to 12-years-old resolutions should focus on:

Drinking reduced-fat milk and water every day, drinking soda and fruit drinks only occasionally.

Applying sunscreen before going outdoors on bright sunny days, and wearing sunglasses, especially when playing sports.

Finding a sport or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and doing it at least three times a week!

Always wearing a helmet when bicycling, seat belt every time I get in a car, and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.

Being nice to other kids, and kids who need friends – like someone who is shy, or is new to my school.

Never giving out personal information such as my name, home address, school name or telephone number on the Internet, and never sending a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer without my parent’s permission.

Kids, 13-years-old and up resolutions should focus on:

Trying to eat two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables every day, and drinking sodas only on special occasions.

Taking care of body through physical activity and nutrition.

Helping out in community – through volunteering, working with community groups or by joining a group that helps people in need.

Handling anger or stress, by taking a break and finding constructive ways to deal, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or discussing my problem with a parent or friend.

Facing difficult decisions, by talking about choices with an adult who can be trusted, and I noticing when friends are struggling or engaging in risky behaviors, and talking with a trusted adult and attempting to find a way to help them.

Carefully choosing dates, and always treating the other person with respect and without coercion or violence, expecting the same good behavior in return.

Resisting peer pressure to try tobacco, drugs or alcohol.

Agreeing not to use a cell phone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt.

Source: Linda G. Swann, M.S. Early Childhood / SPED