Dreams for this New Year: Resolution Making for the Whole Family

Filed under: Big Kids, Tweens, Activities: Babies, Holidays, Amazing Kids, Amazing Parents


The gifts have been opened, the toys have been broken, the decorations packed away (except for those still hanging, looking forlorn), and Cabin Fever is sleep-deprived and overfed and suffering from a season of excess. Don't get me wrong: we've had our fun, we've reveled, we've shared our joy (in the form of a vicious stomach virus; relatives can thank us next year). We've cavorted from hither to yon and back, and here we are. At last. We've arrived.

It's a brand new year.

Odd, this looks eerily familiar. Brand new, did you say?

Back to work. Back to school. Back to piano lessons and swimming and skating. Back to making lunches, locating lost library books, and studying for dictee. Back to January. Back to the future. Yup, it's the same old, same old, and Cabin Fever couldn't be happier. Time to make some family resolutions...
A return to the ordinary is comforting; but it can also be an opportunity to effect subtle transformation. There's a reason we feel the urge to make resolutions at this time of year--not just because we change calendars, but because we look differently at our lives after some time spent away from the routine.

Making resolutions is a way to cleanse the palate, clear the head, bridge the transition from holiday to routine.

Here's Cabin Fever's plan: resolutions for the whole family. But let's broaden the idea of a resolution, a word that tastes a bit too medicinal for our purposes. We'll call this all-family activity "Dreams for the New Year." After a regular meal together, and before a regular bedtime hour, we'll take a few minutes to sit at the table with paper and pencils. Those who can, will fill the page in their own words with ideas and wishes. Drawings are also accepted. Thinking out loud is encouraged. Both the fantastical and the mundane are equally welcome.

Leading questions might be asked: What would you like to learn this year? Where would you like to go? Who would you like to visit? What would you like to build? What are you happiest doing, and what would you like to do more often? What would you like to give, and how? What new activity or food or game would you like to try?

"1. eat pizza, candy, etc. 2. build lego. 3. make movies 4. travel. 5. paint!!!"

The best of the old and familiar, with a dash of the different and challenging: there's a way to incorporate something unique to every family member into the routine mix. And that's how we'll start our brand new year. Sure, it feels the same. But it won't be. It never is.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.