Parenting Goals for the New Year– Healthychildren.org
Helping to make your family safer, stronger, and more harmonious may not require a complete overhaul, but rather a few strategic tweaks. Here are some concrete and tangible parenting goals you can set for the year ahead.
Get everyone vaccinated against COVID & flu. COVID vaccines and flu shots are the best way to protect yourself, your children, and other loved ones from these dangerous viruses circulating together. Flu shots are available at Kids First Pediatrics and COVID vaccines and boosters are available at your local health department, hospital, or pharmacy.
Do good digital. What are your kids watching on TV and online? Devote some time to researching age-appropriate media. Make a family media use plan, and try to prevent gaming from becoming an unhealthy habit. Remember that screen time shouldn’t always be alone time. Watch a show together. Play a video game together. Understand what they are doing and be a part of it.
Read together. Set aside some time for reading each day. For younger kids, an easy way is to build it into your child’s bedtime routine. For older children and teens, share a favorite book by taking turns reading aloud or listen to audiobooks together. Reading has so many brain-boosting benefits for kids. Reading together also strengthens that special bond between you and your child.
Get outside more. Spending time outdoors can be a great mood booster, and help families get much needed physical activity and vitamin D while enjoying time in nature. Spending time outside also give your child’s eyes a healthy screen-time break.
Keep kids riding rear-facing as long as possible, up to the limits of their car seat. This will include virtually all children under 2 and most children up to age 4. If you are past the car-seat stage of parenting, congrats! If you’re still in the thick of it, check for any new car seat laws that may be going into effect in your state in the new year. Remind anyone who transports your child by car that they must abide by these laws.
Set aside time to cook as a family. Many families enjoy baking treats together during the holidays. Keep the fun going in the new year. Set aside special times to cook together as a family. If your child is a picky eater, this can get them more interested in trying new, healthy foods.
Make a family disaster kit. It’s scary to think how disasters like wildfires, hurricanes, or tornadoes could affect our communities. Being ready is one way to be less afraid. With your children, assemble basic supplies you will need if a disaster strikes. Read here for some useful items to pack.
Practice some self-care. When was the last time you had a check-up? Got proper rest? Once a baby is no longer a part of your body, it’s easy to forget that tight association between how you care for yourself and how you care for your child’s health. We also know depression and anxiety can happen to both moms and dads during and after pregnancy. If this is you, you are not alone. Help is near.
Have questions on parenting goals for the year? Give the professionals at Kids First Pediatrics a call. Clayton: 919-250-3478, Raleigh: 919-267-1499.
*This article is informational but is not a substitute for medical attention or information from your provider.