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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

Practicing New Habits Before the New Year

December 15, 2022 | By Bria Davenport

For many of us, the holidays are coming…but even if you don’t celebrate, you will most likely have additional time with your little one as schools & childcare centers will be closed. Just like you may be working on building new habits for yourself in the new year, why not include your little one in the mix too?!

I like to start working on new habits before the new year gets here just for a little test run. It just helps me get a better understanding if I want to rethink a goal of mine or if I want to put it on the back burner altogether! As you evaluate your goals, like getting more active or pursuing other healthy habits, think about how to get your family involved; it’s important to bring your little one along on the journey. Maybe a family walk could be your new favorite time of day!

Talking to your little one about your new year goals & helping them build their own can help them learn about working towards a goal one step at a time. You can make it fun & build a sticker chart for everyone in the house that you can use to track your new habits together then have a fun reward at each milestone. See the sticker chart we found from My Someday in May.

If you’re not sure what goals will be good for your kiddo, here are some ideas to get you started from Lanre Falusi, MD, FAAP article on healthychildren.org:

  1. I will try hard to clean up my toys by putting them where they belong.

  2. I will let my parents help me brush my teeth twice a day.

  3. I will take care of my skin by putting on sunscreen and wearing a hat and sunglasses when possible.

  4. I will try to save time to read for fun.

We also found some awesome resources from Talking is Teaching like a Tip calendar (English y español) of new habits you can try with your little one each day of the month, some of the tips include:

  1. Talk about shapes as you eat healthy and yummy snacks! Compare the shape of a square cracker or a round tomato!

  2. As you do laundry, play a game of finding the matching pairs of socks with your baby

They also have book suggestions (English y español) that will help you talk to your kiddo about new healthy habits; maybe you can read them at bedtime to get them excited for your new journey in the New Year!

We wish you happy holidays & a happy new year!

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