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Ask the Pediatrician: What goals for the new year can be set with children?

Dr. Lanre Falusi, American Academy of Pediatrics on

Published in Health & Fitness

Q: I would like to set some reasonable, healthy resolutions for the new year with my kids. What are some good ones to try?

A: The start of a new year is a great time to help your children focus on forming good habits. Making New Year's resolutions can be a fun way to do this.

As a pediatrician and mom of three kids, I know how important it is to set healthy goals with kids — and to be realistic about those goals. Kids can have fun keeping track on sticker charts or getting praise or rewards as they reach these goals, depending on their age.

I encourage you to sit down with your kids and pick a few goals they want to set as their New Year's resolutions. If it's too overwhelming to think of them as resolutions, then just talk about them as goals and make it fun.

Involving kids in the decision process and making these goals fun for the whole family can help turn these resolutions into long-lasting habits.

Here are some ideas you can suggest to your children, depending on their age:

 

For preschoolers:

— I will try to clean up my toys by putting them where they belong.

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

— I will wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.

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