• Explain what New Year’s resolutions are—promises you make to yourself.
• Ask your child what he’d like to accomplish in the New Year. What areas would he like to improve? Your child should come up with ideas to feel ownership in the resolution.
• Avoid telling him what resolutions to make. You may want him to promise to keep his room clean. He may want to memorize statistics of his favorite sports players.
• Guide him with suggestions related to learning and doing better in school. Perhaps he’s interested in learning a new skill—a musical instrument or a foreign language.
• Encourage him to be realistic. It’s unlikely he’ll be able to give up video games for a week, or get an “A” on every test and assignment. But he can give up video games one day a week. And he can raise his grades.
• Help him be specific. Doing better in school is too general. Paying attention in class, doing homework and reading every day are specific activities that lead to better grades.
• Set up a way for your child to measure his progress. A chart or calendar on the wall will work.
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