Parenting resolutions for 2013
From Stacy DeBroff, founder and CEO of Mom Central, Inc., a company devoted to providing pragmatic tips and advice to strengthen and simplify the lives of busy families, and author of “The Mom Book”
Make time to replenish your energy: Between post-holiday exhaustion, the winter blues and the normal frenetic pace of parenting, moms often find their energy depleted at the start of a new year. Make 2013 the year you carve out time to take care of yourself, whether you kick-start your long-dormant book club, sign up for an exercise class or explore your inner creativity with a new artistic endeavor like photography or ceramics. Most importantly, resolve to keep these efforts up as the year progresses.
Help kids understand that electronics aren’t a constitutional right: With kids spending hours each day online and texting at every opportunity, they live much of their lives in digital rec rooms. This year, remember that even digital natives need limits, so set sound guidelines with them. Establish timing parameters on when they can and can’t go online, keep computers only in public spaces like the kitchen or family room and make sure kids share social media passwords with mom and dad.
Stay true to yourself: While moms typically develop their own parenting beliefs and style over the years, it remains a challenge to stay true to these principles when you discover that other parents have a very different approach. Even if you learn — or your kids tell you — that other moms buy laptops for kids once they start fifth grade or let them stay home alone, stand tall within yourself and parent according to what you believe.
From the Honorable Gregory W. Slayton, parent expert, former U.S. ambassador and author of “Be A Better Dad Today: Ten Tools Every Father Needs”
Commit to have dinner at least twice a week: It’s not difficult, and statistically it’s proven to be very important. Even if you’re a divorced or single dad, you need to make sure you sit down and really have dinner with your children. Don’t look at your phone, don’t read the paper. Talk. And do it twice a week.
Do something fun with your family at least once a week: In addition to dinner, be sure to do something else. Go to a park, go fishing, go to a museum or go on a bike ride. Doing fun things with your kids is important and contributes to their well-being and sense of self-esteem. It’s vital to you and your children and has the bonus of being enjoyable!
Learn more about fatherhood: Fatherhood is one of the least understood roles that we have as men today. There are thousands of books out there about being a better businessman and self-help books by the gazillion. But when it comes to fatherhood, the most important role as any, there are very few books out there. That’s why I wrote mine; I didn’t have a father when I was growing up and didn’t have any guidance. Commit to learning more about fatherhood and improving your growth as a parent, because ultimately there is no job more fun or more important.