Making New Year’s resolutions with your child

Making New Year’s resolutions with your child

Little girl sitting at the kitchen table with her notebook, talking to her father

Goal-setting is one such concept that assists children in achieving their little and big goals.

In recent times, people have felt guilty for making New Year’s resolutions. “New year, same me” has become a very popular line that people say.

This asserts that they are moving into a new year but will not change. This is impossible.

You will change! And it will be unplanned and spontaneous.

Making resolutions means you have introspected enough and have identified areas for improvement. Whether it be your mental health, physical appearance, or your habits. You are starting the new year with a list of things you would like to achieve and this is amazing.

So, for 2020, make resolutions a joint project with your children. Make them understand the concept of new year’s resolutions and create a list with them of their goals for 2020.

This conversation is a great way to find out from your kids what they feel went well for them in 2019 and what did not.

It is also a good way to hold them accountable for their behaviour in 2020. Especially if they behave in ways that are not aligned to their resolutions.

According to psychologist Benedict Mhlongo, it is important to “create efficacy in young children”. This means that children have more control over their behaviours and achievements.

According to Mhlongo “instilling intrinsic motivation in early childhood can be a complex task”.

“Especially when parents are invested in rearing young minds that are pro-future orientated. With 2020 being a few days away, let’s unpack ways that are positive in assisting children with new year’s resolutions.”

It is important to create a culture that works for your family.

Mhlongo says that young kids are challenged with inhibiting self-esteem issues and the inability to transition within the psychosocial stages of development. So, parents need to look at a few cognitive theories of motivation. Goal-setting is one such concept that assists children in achieving their little goals.

Lastly, Mhlongo encourages the token economy system, which can be tailored to fit the household. Parents can draw up a list of their children’s “little goals”, how it can be achieved and when. Include rewards along the way coupled with praises and words of validation.

For more information around this topic and other child-rearing difficulties, parents may contact Mhlongo on 079 318 9672 or visit his private practice in Cedar Square Shopping Center in Fourways.


Karabo Parenty Post BioKarabo Motsiri is a first-time mom, over-sharer, lover of life, chronic napper and married to her best friend. She loves a good party because the dance floor is her happy place. She enjoys good food, good conversations, laughs a little too hard, and cries during every episode of Grey’s Anatomy. She started her blogging journey because she wanted to share all the ups and downs of being a young modern mama in South Africa. Her blog Black Mom Chronicles has been featured on Ayana Magazine & SA Mom Blog. She has enjoyed airtime on Power FM and frequently writes for the parenting section of Saturday Citizen. She also works with MamaMagic on their Product Awards, Milestones Magazine, Heart to Heart blog, and the Baby Expo, which is South Africa’s biggest parenting expo. 

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