As the New Year approaches, many parents think about how they would like to make this year better with their children. Here are some simple yet sometimes overlooked ideas that can serve to make family relationships improve in 2020. (According to Statistics, New Year’s Resolutions are kept by only 8% of people. Please read “Making your New Year’s resolutions stick” to help make your commitments last).

To reduce yelling. While parents certainly love their children, they can be frustrating to deal with as they learn all the many lessons presented to them. When adults raise their voice to children, their brains go into fight or flight mode making it difficult for them to change behavior. Parents also may say things they regret that children could use against themselves later. Additionally, yelling at children models that yelling is the way to get someone to do what they want.

To spend more time with our children. Try to follow their lead letting them choose what they would like to do. It helps build their self-esteem when they make choices and parents attend to these choices. Limit your use of electronics as well when you spend time with your children so they know how important you are to them. It is said again and again but time does fly when raising children and before you know it they will prefer to spend time with their peer group instead of their parents.

To watch for what they do well instead of focusing on what they do wrong. It is important for parents to untrain themself from noticing children’s behavior only when it is negative because it is believed that this is the way for them to improve. Parents can learn a new way of encouraging positive behavior by giving specific attention to what they would like repeated and ignoring behavior they want to stop.

To take care of ourselves better by filling our cup so we in turn can fill our children’s cup. Parents can become so busy with raising children, worklife and countless other demands that they may neglect ourselves making it harder to feel their best. Make an effort to find activities regularly that help you feel more like yourself and reenergize you. Parenting can also bring up issues in us that are unresolved so make a commitment in this new year to work on healing these areas.

To keep learning how to parent better. By the fact that you are reading this article, you are interested in improving your parenting skills. Take a parenting class, read a parenting book, or spend time with friends who are dealing with the same parenting struggles you are. Practice what you are learning by praising yourself when you are successful and be kind to yourself when you falter. This is wonderful behavior for adults to model for their children.

Be grateful. Lastly, in this New Year, be thankful everyday for these wonderful miracles you have in your lives. Remember that they have only lived on this earth for a short time and have so much to learn. Realize that children have so much to teach us and through parenting we get the chance to continually learn about who we really are.

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!