Are New Years Resolutions Healthy For Kids?

Lined Paper With Pen Writing Resolutions

Happy New Year And A Year Of New Hori­zons For All Of Us.

The begin­ning of a New Year in my house­hold has a cer­tain wave of activ­ity that was once known as “spring clean­ing.”  How­ever, it is not spring­time that is the new marker in the Larsen house­hold.  Start­ing out a brand new year serves as the bench­mark for goal set­ting and self-improvement.

Ven­tur­ing fresh as one begins a new year is a def­i­nite healthy way that par­ents can guide young­sters into mak­ing great changes in their life under the guise of “res­o­lu­tions.“
Although the word is an auto­matic for “the promises we broke yes­ter­day,” it could be a great spring­board for con­ver­sa­tion about mak­ing bet­ter life choices.

There are cer­tain things chil­dren can never learn in a class­room set­ting but only in the heart of the home. Some of those “home healthy life lessons are”

  • a healthy sense of self-respect
  • valu­ing their belongings
  • rever­ing other peo­ple, and their differences
  • devel­op­ing skills to make wise choices

Work­ing on one or two of these goals and reward­ing young­sters for the small­est of accom­plish­ments can encour­age a pos­i­tive attitude.

Where Can You Begin?

1. Make a list of goals that can be achiev­able in steps or incre­ments.
Baby steps even­tu­ally mature into great strides.

2. Play the goal game.  Have your child pull the goal out of a hat and
work on it for a period to time.  Doing well on one goal gives such a
sense of accom­plish­ment.  Pull another tar­get out as the first goal
is being accomplished.

3. Reward goals and accom­plish­ments. Rewards can be pow­er­ful moti­va­tors.
Be care­ful though how incen­tives are used. Remem­ber you are gift­ing the behavior-not
tar­get­ing in on “the prize.”

Tips and Tricks To Keep Your Child on Track:

  • The best rewards do not come out of a box. Your love, praise, and admi­ra­tion are the most valu­able incen­tives a child should learn to cherish.
  • Isn’t that what char­ac­ter devel­op­ment is all about? Make it a habit to give com­pli­ments, approval, and that huge hug each time your child even attempts to make a stride in reach­ing his or her goal.
  • For pre-school, it’s always fun to cre­ate a spe­cial poem, move­ment, or say­ing that empha­sizes their achieve­ment. Remem­ber though, you are con­cen­trat­ing on the behav­ior and not the reward. You don’t have to go “over­board.” This may stress your lit­tle one to try to be per­fect each and every time.
  • Good things come in small pack­ages. There are dozens of “dol­lar stores.” that carry inex­pen­sive lit­tle sur­prises for goals well met. It’s a good idea to shop as a fam­ily so those nice tiny lit­tle lagniappes are well known to the recip­i­ent. The “goodie bag” should be well in view as a gen­tle reminder that when you hit a goal – you get a prize.
  • Lit­tle gifts keep the eye on the behav­ior and not the reward. Remem­ber your expec­ta­tions are behav­ior that is accept­able. This is what a per­son of char­ac­ter and integrity should be doing in the first place.
  • I don’t encour­age food. Mixed mes­sages can come from reward­ing your child with sweets and treats.
  • Please don’t wait a week before you bestow your reward. The more space between the reward and the behav­ior, the more the dis­con­nect. The younger your lit­tle one is, the time to reward should be more imminent.

Have Fun Together

  • Have your young­ster cre­ate his or her own reward chart.
  • If your young­ster is older than pre-k, it is a fun activ­ity to gather up stars, stick­ers, or mark­ers to receive an acco­lade. Both of you should agree upon a cer­tain set of accom­plish­ments to receive a sticker (or golden mark) on the chart. Once those are suc­cess­fully accom­plished, play a game together, go to the movies, and the best reward of all – take a trip to the book­store or down­load a great eBook.

The fol­low­ing are rec­om­men­da­tions  are from the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Pedi­atrics (AAP). They can serve as some guide­lines to get your on track.


• I will clean up my toys and put them where they belong.

• I will brush my teeth twice a day, and wash my hands after going to the bath­room and before eating.

• I won’t tease dogs or other pets – even friendly ones. I will avoid being bit­ten by keep­ing my fin­gers and face away from their mouths.

Kids: 5– to 12-years-old

• I will drink reduced-fat milk and water every day, and drink soda and fruit drinks only on spe­cial occasions.

• I will apply sun­screen before I go out­doors on bright sunny days. I will try to stay in the shade when­ever pos­si­ble and wear a hat and sun­glasses, espe­cially when I’m play­ing sports.

• I will try to find a sport (like bas­ket­ball or soc­cer) or an activ­ity (like play­ing tag, jump­ing rope, danc­ing or rid­ing my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week!

• I will always wear a hel­met when bicycling.

• I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I’ll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.

• I’ll be nice to other kids. I’ll be friendly to kids who need friends – like some­one who is shy, or is new to my school.

• I’ll never give out per­sonal infor­ma­tion such as my name, home address, school name or tele­phone num­ber on the Inter­net. Also, I’ll never send a pic­ture of myself to some­one I chat with on the com­puter with­out my parent’s permission.

Kids: 13-years-old and up

• I will try to eat two serv­ings of fruit and two serv­ings of veg­eta­bles every day, and I will drink sodas only on spe­cial occasions.

• I will take care of my body through phys­i­cal activ­ity and nutrition.

• I will choose non-violent tele­vi­sion shows and video games, and I will spend only one to two hours each day – at the most – on these activities.

• I will help out in my com­mu­nity – through vol­un­teer­ing, work­ing with com­mu­nity groups or by join­ing a group that helps peo­ple in need.

• When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find con­struc­tive ways to deal with the stress, such as exer­cis­ing, read­ing, writ­ing in a jour­nal or dis­cussing my prob­lem with a par­ent or friend.

• When faced with a dif­fi­cult deci­sion, I will talk about my choices with an adult whom I can trust.

• When I notice my friends are strug­gling or engag­ing in risky behav­iors, I will talk with a trusted adult and attempt to find a way that I can help them.

• I will be care­ful about whom I choose to date, and always treat the other per­son with respect and with­out coer­cion or vio­lence. I will expect the same good behav­ior in return.

• I will resist peer pres­sure to try tobacco, drugs or alcohol.

• I agree not to use a cell­phone or text mes­sage while dri­ving and to always use a seat belt.

Hope these hints and sug­ges­tions will help you as you con­sider your own per­sonal res­o­lu­tions this year as well,

Let me know what your thoughts are.  I would love to hear from you.

Words Of Love And Wisdom






How Do You Unzip A Banana? (Words Of Wisdom And Love Ages 4–8)


Big Yellow Banana

Can You See A Zipper?

Do you like to eat bananas?

Bananas are one of the world’s coolest fruits besides being a great healthy treat.
Have you ever really looked at a banana? Go to the kitchen and see if mom has one.

Just take a really good look at it.



They are yel­low, long, slim, smooth and really very handy.

Funny though, you can’t smell it or eat one with­out peel­ing it.

One of the best things about bananas is that they are tal­ented.
You just don’t have to eat them as they are.

You can:

  • bake banana bread
  • bake cook­ies
  • dip them choco­late frozen covered
  • slurp cream pies
  • and even in a big banana split 

How good can that be?

Bet­ter still, bananas are prac­ti­cal. You can carry them any­where you want.

You can eat them when you are walk­ing, play­ing, on a pic­nic.
You can do more than one thing at at time as well when you are eat­ing your banana.

Some things can be sit­ting in your favorite chair lis­ten­ing to music, read­ing a great book, watch­ing TV, or play­ing on your com­puter.  All these can be done while you are eat­ing your yel­low “buddy.”

Best of all, it’s so sim­ple to eat one. Just pull the peel off.

You can pull the cov­er­ing one at a time. You can also peel it all the way down. You can eat the banana half way and then try to peel the skin all the way down. Eat­ing a banana really is simple.

But there is a lit­tle prob­lem with bananas that you may have expe­ri­enced. Once you peel a banana it is prac­ti­cally impos­si­ble to close the peel back up again.

Peeled Banana Image

Hous­ton -
We Have A Problem


Have you ever seen a banana with but­tons or a zipper?

Maybe you have never tried to close a banana? Glu­ing and tap­ing is not a good idea. Sta­ples or paper clips are not safe and we should never even think about doing that.

That’s the big deal about eat­ing bananas. That is the one problem.


Once you break open the peel, you have to eat the fruit. The peel won’t stay back up.
Besides, bananas do not taste very good if you leave it out in the open.

Now just think about this: Life can be like peel­ing a banana.

We can make choices that once we have decided to do them,
we can­not take it back or put it in place again.
Some­times we can say unkind words to a friend, brother, or sis­ter.
We can’t take those mean words and put them back in our lips and zip them up again.

Image Of Fighting Words With Colorful Stars

Words Can Hurt

Some­times we can do self­ish or hurt­ful things to oth­ers. Once those actions are done,we may want to take it back and close them away. Like a peeled banana, it is not possible.






So what can you do make things bet­ter. I know you are not a banana.

What you are though is a good per­son. So you do not have to be “yel­low”.

Take a brave step.…..

Smiling Red Lips and Teeth

Be Brave And Take The
First Step









What can you do not to be a unzipped “banana”?

  • You can say “I am sorry.” When we make unwise choices, we can ask for forgiveness.
  • We can also do some­thing to show that per­son we really meant it by doing
    some­thing that will make them smile.

Unlike your favorite banana, you can get back to being the best and enjoy­ing this won­der­ful uni­verse again by ask­ing for for­give­ness when we make a choice that hurts others.

Unlike a banana, you can be whole again by just kind in your thoughts, words,
and actions.  Try it.

Image Of A Smiling Banana

Don’t Be Like A Banana

Words of Love And Wis­dom
Your Friend,