As the end of the year draws near, it's time to take stock of the year that has passed before jumping in to celebrate the new year and make resolutions – and it's a great thing to do with your kids!
It can be easy to focus on what is ahead, but it's important to remember the extraordinary results that have already happened this year. Kids (and adults, too) need to be reminded of what they have accomplished. It's part of a growth mindset and really amps up the confidence to tackle anything in the coming year.
Over the holiday break, spend some time with your kids to bond and write down some of their favorites from the year. Feel free to turn it into an arts-and-crafts project with some poster board and markers for an even bigger impact, and compare it with the one you'll do next year.
The more they see how many things they have achieved, the more they will realize what they are capable of each year.
Ask your kids:
What did they learn
Perhaps it was a new skill during swim lessons. Maybe it was multiplication tables. Even if it was your kindergartener learning his or her letters, list everything your little one has learned.
Put stars next to each item, or stickers, or smiley faces. Positive reinforcement is contagious!
When you are talking to your kids about what they learned, they may not even really remember that they learned it this year. It may be something they now do so regularly – like tying their shoes or making a basket – that they forget there was a time they didn't know how to do it.
What did they overcome
Overcoming obstacles are fantastic life lessons for kids (and parents!). It may have been scary and difficult to conquer a fear of going underwater, but the reminder of the eventual result instills a sense of pride that is hard to match.
Being able to list and look back on those events is also wonderful for parents to be able to bring up when another seemingly giant obstacle comes along. "Remember when you thought you'd never be able to swim to the other side of the pool? Now, look at you! You can do anything you set your mind to!"
What made them happiest
For some reason, negative things can stick in our heads more easily than positive things – and it's said that it takes five positive comments to nix the effects of one negative comment. So, make sure to focus on the good stuff!
Ask your kids what has made them happiest this year – and let their responses flow freely! You're not making a school project here, so the answers don't have to be what you THINK they should be.
Maybe your daughter loved being able to wear tiny high heels to a wedding. Maybe your son loved getting a new special shirt for his birthday. Even if what makes them happiest is watching YouTube videos and playing video games and apps, so be it! Anything can provide a GOLDEN experience.
The point is to remind your kids of all the wonderful things that have happened throughout the year – because they more they pay attention to the good things around them, the more they will continue to notice them. In everything.
What made them proud
Sometimes, as parents, we have different ideas of what our children are proud of. Sure, we're proud of them for pretty much everything, but what things are THEY proud of themselves for?
We treat our children with integrity, compassion and trust, and we don't want them to be braggarts – but they can and should be aware of what they are proud of!
What makes them feel good about themselves? Is it when they cleaned up their rooms without asking? Fed the cat? Was respectful to their teacher and classmates?
The more they realize what makes themselves proud, the more inclined they'll be to do more of the same.
Dive into swim lessons
Start the new year right and make goals of learning how to swim. Kids ages 4 months and older can take swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School, so stop in a location near you to sign up today! Our WOW! customer service, 90-degree pool temperature and vibrant atmosphere are only some of the reasons parents and children love Goldfish Swim School. You'll see.