Hit the refresh button

Ring in 2018 with a positive change (or two). Kita Szpak shows us how to incorporate the kids into our resolutions

The New Year awakens the urge in all of us to renew ourselves. Sometimes this is directly related to the holiday season. How many of us have said, “OK, it’s January 2. Time for me to get my act together.” Whether it’s cutting out dessert, hitting the gym, cleaning out the basement, finally taking that course or decluttering your office, any or all of these things have appeared on a New Year’s to-do list. Good on you for following through on these individual goals, but is there also a way to hit the refresh button with your kids at the beginning of 2018? Let’s examine a few ideas to make this a good year for everyone.

Learn something new together. Never skied, skated or taken a drawing class before? Why not sign yourself and your kids up to learn something new? Whether it’s a one-off workshop or an eight-week course, doing something different shakes up the routine and introduces new skills – perhaps a latent talent/passion emerges as well – to your family. A shared interest makes for mutual company, fun and conversation.

Rediscover the library. A natural community hub, the library may seem outdated in our Netflix, apps and instant games environment but nothing can beat seeing a child engrossed in a book – so quiet that it even surprises you they can sit still for so long. Making a habit of visiting the library (thank goodness they are open after work hours) feeds curiosity and independence. The idea of having one’s own library card and being able to take out the books she wants, can be a great confidence builder for your daughter – not to mention an enjoyable outing. 

Exchange house visits: Visiting your buddy’s house is always fun. If you and a neighbour can sync up your schedules to exchange kid visits, especially when it’s too cold to play outside, this setup can benefit both parent and child. Take it a step further into the babysitting department, and one neighbourhood parent can watch the kids while the other runs errands, has the chance to have a date night or takes some needed downtime. Another step and perhaps this is the year your son has his first sleepover. Why not?

Make plans as a family: Sometimes moving forward as a family in the New Year means making plans for the coming months. Talking together about a trip to see Nana and Grandpa during March Break or summer camping on Golden Lake can be exciting and definitely something to look forward to. Pulling out a map to show where they live and how far you will be driving or flying can create a whole new world for your kids. Sharing like this makes them realize how special the New Year can be. Moreover, they’ll also learn to understand the importance of being part of a family that is learning, playing and enjoying being together.