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Oregon Family Magazine

Making New Year’s Resolutions as a Family

12/30/2019 ● By Sandy Kauten
Most of us are familiar with the routine of making New Year’s resolutions that are forgotten by spring, if not sooner. Make your 2020 resolutions more meaningful by resolving to spend more time together as a family and you’ll likely be more successful. Research shows that increasing family time decreases a child's stress hormones, improves bonding and feelings of security, increases school attendance and decreases their risk of dangerous behaviors as teens.  

Try this exercise to create your family resolutions:

  • Pick a time that every family member can sit together undistracted, without cell phones or other electronic devices.
  • Take turns going around the table and share something fun you wish you could do together that requires little to no money—like going to a favorite park, sipping hot cocoa together in a tent or fort that you built, making cookies or eating a picnic dinner on the floor.
  • Go around the circle as many times as people have ideas and create a list of suggestions. Ask each family member for ideas.
  • Now, it’s time to vote! Each person gets two votes, and the activities with the most votes win.
  • Write the winning ideas down on a piece of paper and display it prominently in the kitchen or family room, so you can hold each other accountable for dedicating the time and effort to your family’s plans.

There’s no limit to how you can spend time together as a family. Consider initiating a game or movie night and share with your kids the games and movies you liked when you were young, and let them help choose. Exercise together by finding an activity you all enjoy, like bike riding or hiking. Consider volunteering as a family. Make a list of various ways that you want to help others, and then figure out a plan to make them happen.

In the coming months, resolve to make changes that improve your kids' health and provide you joy as a parent. Happy New Year from your pediatricians at Eugene Pediatric Associates!

by Pilar Bradshaw, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Eugene Pediatric Associates