New Year Resolutions are part of many people's traditional celebration, but are troubled kids able to make a resolution?
New Year's Eve is a great time to talk about resolutions - which are, after all, just another word for "goals." Sitting down with your foster kids and discussing where they think they'd like to improve themselves in the new year can be a great way to begin an open conversation about where their behavior needs additional support, and what steps can be taken to do that.
They key is to allow the child to identify their own issues and to brainstorm together on solutions that will be followed up on with counselors, teachers or with additional support within the household in the new year.
Make this a family discussion, preparing action plans for everyone in the family; we all have things to work on, after all.
Of course, many of our troubled kids will have difficulty sticking to their resolutions, and may fail in spite of every one's best efforts, but does that mean the discussion of goals was a waste of time? Not really. Even seeing others in the family work toward their goals, stick with their plans, fail, and retry, will serve as a good example for the child throughout the year.
Give your child the very best chance to meet his or her goals however. If you have a support team (counselor, social worker etc,) get them in on it and make a concrete action plan that can get your kid excited. Break down the goal into easy to achieve steps and mark successes on a calendar. Set milestones and celebrate reaching them. Don't lose focus or enthusiasm.
What do you think? What are some of the resolutions you and your family are making? Here are some more articles on making resolutions with your kids.