Happy New Year!! So here we go again with the New Years resolutions and the “to do” list. I try to figure out something each year that I am going to “resolve” to do….one of which continues to be to learn how to play bridge. Somehow I have had the same resolution for two years and yet I still cannot play…at least well. I start off with a bang and just as I can “kind of sort of” play a real game, I somehow get too busy to play and here we go again…back to beginner. I need a new plan!
I was having dinner with my “adult children” and they were talking about their New Yea'rs resolutions and it seems they have “categories” of resolutions. In other words they have several different resolutions…which they called personal, professional, social etc. Their thought is that they are more likely to succeed if they have more than one goal?? Maybe they are correct? New approach?
So…with that being said let’s think about several different areas that might be good for family resolutions.
Family meals: We all vowed to try to eat out less and cook at home more often. Not only is it less expensive, it is often healthier and an important time for families to come together to discuss their day. Whether your child is 2 ,10, or 20 yrs old, just eating together as a family has been shown to improve moods, behavior, school performance and yes, reduces obesity.
Electronic media: As I am on the computer typing I am reminded about how often we all have our faces engrossed in a screen. Some of my young patients know how to “Swipe” and “Refresh” before they can even walk!! As the world becomes more electronic we are are becoming more isolated…and this is especially true of children. Making a family commitment to limit screen time for all ages may be difficult but is important for building language, social skills and even better sleep. Texting is not talking…who needs a study to confirm that?
Exercise: Who doesn’t vow to get more exercise every year…well maybe not young children who long to go outdoors regardless of the weather. But for everyone else, we are becoming more and more sedentary and that is probably somewhat related to the above issue (electronic media). Make a family plan to exercise at least 3 -4 days a week, maybe after family dinner? Walking, bike riding (helmet please), playing soccer in the yard, shooting hoops together, or even playing tag, make it easy. Getting our children to move continues to be important for overall health. They will sleep better, snack less and exercise also gets those good endorphins flowing. If you keep it up you actually do “feel better”.
Smoking: If you are a parent that smokes…. resolve to “give it up for your children”. Second hand smoke is REAL, and more and more data shows how it may contribute to SIDS, asthma and other lung problems in children. Model behavior you want to see in your children. Teen smoking continues to be an issue and many teens are experimenting with electronic cigarettes which then often lead to smoking at a later age. Giving up smoking saves a lot of money towards a fun trip or night out!!
OK - let me know how your family does after a few months!! I am hopeful to stay on track for all of 2017. Happy Healthy New Year!!