I've never been one to put much stock into "New Year's Resolutions," as they always seem to be cliche promises that are made simply to be made, and then eventually, to be forgotten more so than broken.
As a parent, my outlook has changed a bit in that a New Year is a chance to reset and refocus rather than to make a simple "resolution." So often, the course of time can gunk up the lens of life, and a new calendar year is the right time to wipe it clean and polish it up, allowing parents and children to see things with greater clarity and to spend some time establishing or reinforcing goals.
While my youngest is just hitting the 19-month mark, my oldest Sproutlet is four (like Caillou!), and we're kicking off 2014 by reinforcing kindness, which is something that needs constant adjustment and fine-tuning due to the many factors (good and... not so good) that can influence a little one in Pre-K. As a part of this, I'm spending time explaining and emphasizing the "Five Pillars" of Sprout's Kindness Counts initiative:
-Be Kind to All
-Be Kind to Yourself
-Be Kind to Others
-Be Kind to the Earth
-Be Kind to Animals
The exact specifics of those pillars and what they mean might be varied, or even a bit different for every family, but the overall goal is the same—to teach kids that "small acts matter big." It's those simple actions, like making sure that the right items make it into the recycle bin each day, or saying "hello" to our neighbors in passing, that all add up to help make the world a better place. As the New Year begins in your home, consider taking a few moments to discuss the five pillars with your Sproutlet. They're a great conversation starter!
Content Provided by: The Rock Father, James Zahn