43 New Year’s Resolutions Every Parent (And Their Kids) Should Make

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new year's resolutions for parents

We like to think of the New Year as the perfect opportunity to make positive changes and set lofty goals, but we parents have an even more obvious, urgent reason to undo unhealthy habits and commit to bettering ourselves: the tiny humans who look up to us, mirror our shortcomings, and threaten to pass on our deep-set issues.

And so maybe January 1, 2022 is as convenient a time as ever to put those changes into motion. Any changes we make to our health, attitude, and daily practice can directly (and greatly!) affect our children’s lives.

Not only do we want to put these positive changes to use, but so do our kids. They want to make changes as well to help themselves, the earth, and even us.

Making resolutions as a family can become the new ritual in the household. This way everyone has something to focus on and we have others to check in on how our progress is doing. It's a nice checks and balances system to lean on.

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In an attempt to be a better person and parent in 2022, here are 43 New Year’s Resolutions that kids and parents can make.

New Year's Resolutions for Parents

1. I will stop comparing myself to other parents/people on social media.

This year I won’t compare myself to Instagram-filtered strangers, scripted characters and celebrities, or whatever image I have for a “real mom.” I will keep my eyes on my own life, and know that our public highlight reels only tell part of the story.

2. I will be healthier.

Not just physically healthier, but mentally and emotionally. Being truly healthy is the most loving thing we can do for our children. When we’re healthy, we can give our best selves.

3. I will make time for happiness.

Our happiness matters to everyone around us, including our kids. This year I won’t apologize or feel guilty for making time for my needs and happiness.

4. I will make time for play.

We’re playful creatures — our children remind us this every day, no matter how deeply conditioned we are to work, work, work. This year I’ll make time for joy, for laughter, for pure unapologetic silliness. This year, I’ll make play a priority.

5. I will say yes.

Yes to spontaneity, yes to pizza, yes to getting on the floor and playing with my son. This year, I’ll start saying yes to the things that fill my heart.

6. I will say no.

…to anything that crosses my boundaries, drains my energy, or makes me uncomfortable.

7. I will be more generous.

Not just with my money, but with my time, my heart, and my attitude toward life. It just might make the entire family happier.

8. I will slow down.

Too often parents rush through the day. “Hurry up!” we yell from the bottom of the stairs, or while speed walking from here to there. This year I’ll slow everything down, from our schedule to my patience. Doesn’t life go fast enough?

9. I will shake off the “should's.”

Rather than obsess over how things “should” be — how a mom should be, how my child should be, how my life should be — I’ll accept reality for what it is. I’ll do my best to banish the word “should” from my vocabulary.

10. I will make more time for people who are important.

Especially the kids, who really just want our time and attention. It's that simple.

11. I will make a new mom friend.

As scary as it is to put ourselves out there and connect with other parents, meaningful friendship is one thing us lonely mamas crave.

12. I will trust my parenting intuition.

This year I’ll follow my own instincts on how to raise my son, not an expert or guru or stranger.

13. I'll be the person I hope my child will be.

Pick three things you want to teach your child — i.e. to be kind, to be honest, and to be responsible — and incorporate those traits into your life. If I want my son to be vulnerable, emotionally aware, or authentic, then I have to be those things, too.

If I want him to follow through on his word, then I have to, too.

14. I will yell less.

Because we all do it, and we all want to stop. This year I’ll focus on responding, not reacting.

15. I will be present.

I will spend 2022 living in 2022, not wrapped up in the past, or worrying about some nonexistent future. I’ll be here, in the moment, experiencing life as it happens.

16. I will avoid any and all parenting drama.

Don’t let the headlines and hype suck you in. Stay strong.

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New Year's Resolutions for Preschoolers

17. I will learn how to read.

Reading is important, so it will take priority this year.

18. I will learn more new things.

Preschool is a phase where learning can from anything. So with this new year, I'll explore and learn as many new things as I possibly can.

19. I will help tidy my room.

A tidy room makes for success. I will help my parents by keeping my room nice and neat.

20. I will always do my very best.

Though small, I can make a difference. I will do the best at everything I can.

21. I will be kind.

I will be nice to my family, teacher, and friends.

22. I will be open to new kinds of food on my plate.

New foods will be conquered! I will at least try everything my parents put on my plate with little to no fuss.

23. I will let my parents help me brush my teeth twice a day.

Hygiene is critical when you are young, so I will brush my teeth twice a day.

24. I will hold an adult's hand when crossing the street.

I will hold teh hand of my parents or an adult I trust when crossing the street for safety.

25. I will speak up when I am scared.

If I feel scared I will talk to my parents or a trusted adult about it.

26. I will wash my hands.

I will be proactive about washing my hands every time I use the potty.

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New Year's Resolutions for Younger Kids (Ages 5-12)

27. I will talk about my feelings.

I will express my emotions and feelings with those I trust.

28. I will get "unplugged."

I will take some time to be with my family. I will limit myself to an hour a day in front of my electronics.

29. I will drink water more.

I will drink water every day along with other healthy beverages like milk with my meals. I will save juices and other beverages for special occasions.

30. I will wear my seatbelt.

Every time I get in a car or vehicle I will put my seatbelt on first.

31. I will be more active.

Three times a week I will do a physical activity I like or play a sport.

32. I will speak up about bullying.

If I see someone getting bullied I will tell an adult to help.

33. I will not give out personal information.

Keeping my personal information like my name and address is important. I will also tell an adult if someone asks me for it.

34. I will be a good person.

To the best of my ability, I will be a good person this year. I will be kind and do all I can to make the earth a great place to live on.

35. I will help out with household chores.

I will help my family by helping to clear the table after we eat or folding laundry when it is done. I will help with any chore my family tells me to do.

RELATED: Yes, I Make My 4-Year-Old Do Chores — So Should You

New Year's Resolutions for Teens

36. I will practice loving myself instead of trying to change myself.

I’ll put down the self-help books and well-meaning how-to articles, and stop trying to change myself into someone better, more perfect. This year, above anything else, I’ll focus on loving myself — flaws and all.

Self-love, not self-improvement. When we learn to really love ourselves, we can better love the people in our lives.

37. I will forgive myself for past mistakes.

Who I was isn’t who I am, and making mistakes is part of being a flawed human. This year, I’ll forgive myself for my humanity and extend that forgiveness to everyone else in my life. Let it go.

38. I will cut out the toxicity from my life.

Toxic relationships, toxic friendships, toxic mind patterns all have to go.

39. I will let go of old friendships that no longer work.

Not everyone comes with us to the next season in life, and that’s okay. Let go in love and appreciation for the times you had together, and accept that it’s time to move forward.

40. I will let go of the idea of “balance.”

Rather than spend another year searching for the unattainable goal of “balance,” I’ll accept the chaos and make smarter sacrifices.

41. I will be less judgmental.

Humans are judgmental by nature, and even though we “shouldn’t” judge other people, that’s not always a realistic goal to make. Instead, this year I’ll start with being less judgmental toward myself.

If I want to extend that compassion and understanding to other people, then I have to work on judging my own life less harshly.

42. I will embrace an attitude of gratitude, every day.

I will be more grateful for what I do have and stop punishing myself and others for it.

43. I will make peace with my changing body.

Scrap the diets and gym guilt and mirror-hate. This year, accept and appreciate our life-giving machines, exactly as they are.

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Michelle Horton is the founder and editor of Early Mama — a site that proves young motherhood doesn't have to define or limit us. Follow her on Twitter.