Great Family-Oriented New Years Resolutions

Many people cringe at the words “New Year’s resolutions,” but resolutions can be a very positive and productive especially if you’re doing it as a family.  I’ve included a few of our favorite family resolutions over the years.  They create strong family bonds and promote health and happiness within the family.

1. Dinnertime Together.  With busy schedules that include kids’ activities and working late, it can be difficult to have a nightly sit down family dinner.  But if you can aim to eat together 3 or more times a week with your kids, you’ll find this is an ideal time for discussion and nutrition.  Even better, get the kids involved in planning and cooking the meals. It’s truly a bonding experience!

 2. Family Game/Movie Night.  Institute a family game or movie night.  It can happen as often as it works for your family’s schedule.  Take turns picking the game or movie, pop some popcorn and gather around for some good ol’fashioned family fun.

3. Date Night. Many parents become so involved in their jobs and parental duties they forget to take time out of their hectic lives to make time for each other.  Find a reliable babysitter, friend or family member and get out for a quiet dinner or activity you both enjoy such a golfing or biking.  It doesn’t have to be elaborately planned or expensive but does mean investing time in each other.  Happy parents make for happier kids!

4. Kid Date Night.  A kid date night is the ultimate opportunity to make time for one child at a time.  If it works, have both parents take a child on a “kid date” and give them 100% of your time.  Some fun ideas are taking in a movie, dinner at their favorite spot, bowling, a baseball game, a pottery painting store, ice skating or going out for ice cream.  They will always remember these special outings and appreciate your efforts.

5. Plan Healthy Outings.  I like to think the family that exercises together, stays together. Get ‘team family’ together for a bike ride, a walk together (make it extra fun by creating a scavenger hunt), go ice skating, join a gym that’s for the whole family, have a family dance-off or backyard Olympics with obstacle courses, jumping jacks and a relay race.  Have fun and get active as a family!

6. Be Present.  As parents in today’s busy world, we find ourselves checking work email on our smart phones, getting on our laptops at night to do more work and returning phone calls when we’re in the car shuffling around the kids.  Make a conscience effort in 2013 to be more present with your kids.  When they’re talking, listen.  When you’re with them in the car, talk to them.  At bedtime, read to them or have them read to you.  Make an effort to live “in the moment” and enjoy the time you have with them with less distractions.


Daddy Nickell, father of 6, founder of and the Daddyscrubs parenting blog.

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