The end of the year is a great time to begin focusing on fresh beginnings. As 2014 comes to a close and 2015 quickly approaches, it’s a good time to start making plans for the upcoming year. However, this isn’t something that should be reserved just for adults. Make sure that you get your kids in on the New Year planning so that they can focus on having a prosperous upcoming year too.
As 2014 comes to a close, it’s important that my family take time out to really reflect on the past twelve months. In doing so, we celebrate our successes as well as discuss areas that can be improved on in 2015. We actually dedicate an evening every year before New Year’s Day to plan for the upcoming year. We just recently had our family planning session and it was such a great experience that I wanted to share this process with you too.
Planning for the New Year is not just something that my husband and I do with each other. Our whole family is involved in the process, especially our older children. Although my daughter is young and doesn’t always completely understand the whole New Year planning process, even she chimes in from time to time during our family discussion. Planning with children can be a little tricky because we don’t want them to feel burdened or overwhelmed with a lot of “big” goals, but it is very important that they spend time setting realistic goals for the upcoming year. To make the process easier, you might want to focus on helping your children set goals in three important areas:
This is obviously a very important area for children to focus on. During your family discussion, have each of your children identify the areas that they are doing really well in. Even children who don’t particularly enjoy school or who have learning disabilities should be able to find some things that they are excelling in at school. If they are having trouble identifying something, then help them adjust their perspective to see areas that they may not otherwise notice. For example, one of my friends has a son who struggles with attention deficits and when they discuss areas of excellence, her son will often focus on things that he has improved on, such as his handwriting, his ability to read longer, and that his proficiency in math. After each child identifies things that went well in school in 2014, make goals for 2015. The goals should be what’s right for each child and each child’s goals can be different. Your kids’ goals can be anything from reading for 20 minutes per day, to raising a “B” to an “A,” or to being more attentive in Science class. Focus on the best way to make progress for each individual child.
Another great area to do some goal setting is with personal relationships. Whether the goal is to get along better with their siblings or to improve relationships with peers, personal relationships should be addressed as your family plans for the new year. The process should be the same. The kids should share how they have done well with relationship building throughout the year and identify what they can do even better in the upcoming years. Goals could include doing something nice for someone each day on purpose, learning how to talk out disagreements with their siblings, trying to understand the viewpoint of their teacher better, and the list goes on. Again, make sure goals are individualized for each specific child.
This one is usually pretty fun for my kids. Here they get to discuss their activities. After sharing their strengths, ask your children to identify how they can try out a new hobby or improve on their current activities. My daughter loves dancing and this year, she clamored that she wanted to be a better dancer. And my son shared that he wants to improve one of his soccer formations that can be a little tricky at times.
I absolutely love this time of year. My family and I can really breathe in the newness of the upcoming year and really plan a successful 2015. I know that you and your family will enjoy the process too!