8 Realistic Parenting Resolutions for the New Year

It's that time again, when everyone comes up with unrealistic goals for themselves to start the new year. That's the only problem: all they do is START the new year. Well, I have come up with a little list for all you Resolutioners out there. Good luck and ...realistic parenting solutions

1.Stop getting so mad about little things that don’t matter

When you’re stressed out, it’s almost impossible to not let things affect you. Children feed off your energy, whether it’s negative or positive. So next time you’re having a bad day, in the words of Elsa, ‘LET IT GOOOO”

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2.Make more time for yourself, you deserve it

When you have young children, this can be challenging. Even if alone time means relaxing on the couch while the children nap, instead of finishing a load of laundry, DO IT! The laundry can always wait, your sanity however, can’t.

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3. Yell less

Like I said before, the energy you give off can be much more damaging than you think. Instead of yelling, try to get your point across in a more calming manner. By speaking to them in a soothing tone, and getting down to their eye level, you can have a more effective approach.

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4. Love more

Children give you the most unconditional love because you are their world. It’s easy to overlook the little moments with them because sometimes life gets in the way. You’ll never regret spending more time with them, but you’ll always regret the time you wasted.

Children absorb everything like a sponge. You are their first love, and the one responsible for teaching them how to build healthy, loving relationships. So pick those little ones up as shower them with endless affection. Love Never Fails. 1 Cor. 13:8

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5. Put your phone down! (after you finish my article, of course)

Easier said than done, trust me, I know! This is easily my worst habit. I love being able to keep in touch with friends and family with ease. If I don’t watch it, I will mindlessly flip from app to app in my spare time. The only problem with this is that you forget to enjoy the people you’re actually around.

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6. Live in the moment

Why is it that our generation feels the need to share every detail of our lives? Just because you don’t post about it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Instead of enjoying the moments we live in, we try to take pictures as evidence or to show off. In 20 years, you’ll still have the memories, but if you were so caught up in trying to catalog the event, you might be left with nothing.

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7. Let your kids be kids

I know this one sounds weird, but it’s true. We never want our kids to grow up, but at the same time we want them to be able to do so much. There is a time for everything, don’t force them to grow up just because you’re ready for them to grow up. You’ll look back and wonder where the time went.

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8. Lead by example

Children are the prime example of monkey see, monkey do. Don’t do or say anything in front of them that you wouldn’t be okay with them emulating. Vice versa, showing children the correct way to do a task will make them want to do it more than if you just tell them what to do

realistic parenting solutions

5 Ways to a Fresh Start in 2016

1. Place Your Focus On Other Things

A lot of issues (anxious feelings, depressive state, etc.) arise because we're focusing too much on ourselves. We can get into this 'woe is me' state of mind, which isn't healthy.

Volunteer: Volunteering is an amazing way to place focus on more important issues happening around us. Children's hospitals, homeless shelters, and humane societies prove to be the best!

Exercise: Getting in shape is a great thing to focus on, as well. Not only will your endorphin levels be at an all-time high, you'll be able to concentrate on something other than your problems.

2. Overcoming Anxiety and Low Self-Esteem

Calling all introverts! Do you get easily embarrassed or constantly worry about what others think of you? Edward T. Welch writes a very convicting book, "When People Are Big and God is Small," about the background and reasoning for our culture-adapted 'fear of people.'

Even if you don't believe in God, this book can be quite helpful. I've been struggling for the past two years with doubt, so I went into this book with an agnostic mindset. I encourage anyone who is struggling with anxiety to read this book.

 3. New Year, New Situation

Although we all have areas to work on within ourselves, many hardships unfold because we constantly put ourselves in the same situation over and over again. Stop complaining and make a change in your surroundings! You'll be surprised with the impact it will have on your life.

Relationships: I never thought I would have to break up with so many people in my twenties. No, not in romantic relationships -- friendships! It's a known fact that people change, but it never occurred to me how far apart I would grow from certain friends in my life. It's a learned trait to accept that people have different goals and motivations in life. There's no need to continually deal with issues brought on by someone moving in the opposite direction as you.

Couples:  Stop focusing on what is wrong with your partner and what they need to change. Take responsibility for the issues you need to work on. Trust me, nothing can be harder, but it can decrease the amount of fights and create a little more harmony in your relationship.

Finances: Living paycheck to paycheck is tough and can cause a lot of discontent and stress, especially following the holidays. Begin to differentiate your spending between wants and needs. U.S. News put out a great article on how to cut back each month. The best, and fastest, ways include, "ditching cable, give up a vice, and getting creative with your commute."

4. Poor Body Image

Our insecurities can get the best of us -- especially as WAGS -- in a world where every woman we meet is gorgeous (eye roll)! We tend to compare ourselves and downgrade the amazing women we are.

After overcoming an eating disorder early in life, Kjerstin Gruys catches herself feeling body-conscious again while wedding dress shopping. "Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall" is a funny look at a woman's journey to a healthy body image.

5. New Year's Revelation

Are you 0-10 with keeping your New Year's Resolutions?  The problem may not be your will power. The issue may be the extent of discontent towards your present state.

Take the most popular issue with women: weight. The reason you may be avoiding the gym or failing to resist the soda and fried food is because you're not that unhappy with your weight. If you were, you'd do something about it.

Make a list of the things you want to change about yourself but review it in light of importance. Your weight may end up at the bottom of the list if you realize your habitual tardiness is affecting your career and relationships. Or that your anger is affecting your family. That may be something you need to change as opposed to something you think you want.

Be patient with yourself during areas of growth. We all fail. Change is hard. But when have you ever made it through a trial and regretted the outcome? Good luck and enjoy your fresh start!