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Why New Year's Resolutions Fail in Kids Who Struggle



Even for kids, making a new year's resolution is a popular way to ring in the new year. However, it can be tough to stick to a new year's resolution—particularly for children who struggle with learning or behavioral challenges. If you are the parent of a child who struggles, you may have watched or tried to help your child set new yearly goals, only to see them fail at attaining them. Rather than feel frustrated, it can help to understand why your child fails to stick to resolutions and what steps you can take to help make your kids' resolutions a reality.

Why Your Child Struggles with New Year's Resolutions

Children with attention and learning issues often struggle to complete tasks — not just New Year's resolutions. But these resolutions can be more challenging if they are declared specifically at the start of a new year. Children who have trouble staying focused may lose interest in the goal and shift their attention after a short time. Children who struggle with learning may feel discouraged if they cannot achieve the goal they have set and give up, especially if the struggle feels like defeat and further harms an already-low self-esteem or confidence level.

How to Help Set Kids Resolutions they Can Stick To

If you want to help your child that struggles reach their New Year's resolution this year, help them set goals that they can reach. Then help them guide through a process that is easy to stick to, rather than one that they are likely to abandon. Here are some tips for helping your kids set and reach the right goals:

Keep the List Short

Don't set too many resolutions, because the more goals they want to achieve, the easier it is to get distracted from each one. Instead, stick to two or three manageable goals, so that no one gets overwhelmed or has their attention diverted.

Incorporate Fun

Kids are much more likely to stick to resolutions if they feel like fun, rather than like work or a burden. So, help make sure each goal incorporates a fun or positive element. For example, if the resolution is to be more active or get more exercise, consider scheduling new active afterschool activities or set up outside play time with friends. If the resolution is to read more, make visits to the library a fun weekly activity or habit to look forward to doing.

Set deadlines

If the resolution is one with a final goal to meet, set a deadline to meet the goal, and don't make the deadline too far away. A year can seem like eternity to a child. Instead, set a deadline of a month or two away, or on another special occasion, like a birthday or holiday. Making resolutions short term goals can keep the finish line in sight and reduce the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed.

Contact Brain Balance Achievement Centers for Extra Help

If you're concerned that your child is not meeting social or behavioral milestones or is struggling socially or behaviorally, contact us online to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help. For over a decade, we’ve helped over 40,000 children improve the critical skills needed to create a brighter path for their future. You can also view the research and results of the program on the website.

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