January is an optimistic time of year. Although it's dark and cold outside, the dawn of each New Year brings with it the promise of doing things differently and better than we have in the past. Of course, reality sets in shortly after the New Year and some of our most resolute vows fall by the wayside. I'd like to suggest just one resolution this New Year—but you have to promise me that you'll keep it as if your entire parenting experience depends on it. It does.
This year, resolve that when you're with your kids, you'll really be with them. Here's what I mean. Besides the often overwhelming choreography and daily mini-crises with our kids, our non-parenting to-do lists are also on our minds all the time–work worries, the dishes in the sink, the lawn that needs mowing, taxes waiting to be filed, bills to be paid, grocery shopping, home repairs. We have responsibilities to our spouses and friends, commitments we've made for community and volunteer activities or for helping out at the kids' school. Some of us are also juggling responsibilities to our own parents or other family members. As a result, even though we spend hours each day with our kids, our minds are often elsewhere. It's no wonder that each January 1, we can't believe that another year of our kids' childhoods has streaked by.
By resolving to be truly with your kids whenever you're with them, you'll slow things down a little, and enjoy parenting a whole lot more. Here are 3 tips:
May 2015 bring you and your family health and happiness!
Dr. Harley A. Rotbart is Professor and Vice Chairman Emeritus of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado. He is the author of four books for parents and families, including No Regrets Parenting and 940 Saturdays. He is also a Parents advisor and a contributor to The New York Times Motherlode blog. Visit his blog at noregretsparenting.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@NoRegretsParent).
Image via Shutterstock.