Resolutions for kids

Child psychologist explains how to help your child achieve his/her goals

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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This is the time of year when many adults will start putting together a list of resolutions for the new year.  But is it cool for kids to set some goals for 2014, too?

Dr. Kate Eshleman, a child psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Children's, says if your kids are considering a resolution or two, you should encourage it.

"It's always a good idea to start healthy habits and healthy behaviors and there is no time like New Year's," said Eshleman. "So, certainly, if kids are interested in engaging in resolutions or if families want to start them together, it can be a great idea."

Eshleman says when you sit down with your child to put together a list of resolutions, many of the same rules apply to the kids' resolutions as they do adults. She says the goals should be challenging, but very specific and achieveable.

An example would be a child deciding to spend at extra 10 minutes each night studying, as opposed to just saying, "I will study more often."

Eshleman says these types of resolutions are also very measurable because your child knows whether or not they spent their 10 minutes studying. And if your child is not sure what kind of resolution they'd like to try, she says it's ok for you to help them decide.

"I think it depends very much on the family and what they're into," said Eshleman. "So, is it time to get more active, is it time to donate some things, is it time to get more involved in the community?"

Eshleman adds there is power in numbers, so family resolutions work, too.
She says in the end, have your child ask, "Are there things in my life that could be going better?" That's usually a good place to start.

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