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15 New Year’s Resolutions Kids Can Actually Make (and Keep)

With New Year’s right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about all the ways in which we can do better next year. Yep, we’re talking about New Year’s resolutions…and we’re willing to bet the kid(s) in your life have a little room for improvement, too. In fact, goal-setting is incredibly beneficial for children and teens because it encourages responsibility and mindful decision-making.

Still, it’s important that kids make New Year’s resolutions that are both valuable and realistic, and that’s easier said than done. Don’t worry, though, we came up with a short list of resolutions that meet kids where they’re at, while still giving them something to work toward. Read on for inspiration and then gently suggest a few ideas to your preschooler, grade schooler or teen. (Psst: It’s best not to dictate to your kid exactly what their resolution should be, but these ideas can certainly get the ball rolling, so to speak.)

Preschoolers

New Years Resolutions for Kids - A young toddler in a denim dress helps an adult fill up the dishwasher.
  • I will try at least one bite of everything on my plate (even the vegetables). It’s high time your tot gave your perfectly roasted cauliflower a teeny-tiny taste.
  • I will take deep breaths when I get angry. Because it’s never too soon to start honing those emotional regulation skills.
  • I will wash my hands before every meal. In case you missed it, the CDC estimates that a million lives would be saved per year if everyone practiced routine handwashing.
  • I will put away the toy I’m playing with before I take out another…so that I don’t complain about the mess being too big to clean up later.

  • I will put my day clothes in the dirty laundry when I change into my pajamas. Because little people can help in surprisingly big ways.

Gradeschoolers

  • I will invite someone new to play with me at recess. Schoolyard social dynamics can be rough, which is why a resolution that encourages inclusivity and steers your kid away from cliques is always a good idea.
  • I will clear my own dishes after dinner. Ye who can’t cook, must clear. (And again, a little help does go a long way.)
  • I will practice a sport or instrument once a day. Sports lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle and research has shown that learning an instrument does pretty amazing things for the developing brain. Whether your child is interested in one or both extracurriculars, daily practice will teach discipline and help build confidence, to boot.
  • I will memorize three emergency contacts this year. Fingers crossed your kid will never be in a situation that requires them to use the stored info, but it’s a brain-boosting exercise that can provide parents with peace of mind, nevertheless. (And who doesn’t like the sound of that?)

  • I will read a book for at least 30 minutes every day. Reading begets more reading, which means less time spent playing Roblox and a better vocabulary.

Teenagers

  • I will do volunteer work once a month. Science says that volunteering has major benefits for both the body and mind. It’s also a great way to make new friends and a blessedly wholesome activity for teens.
  • I will replace an hour of screen time with a non-screen activity every day. Hey, a parent can dream, right?
  • I will save 25 percent of my allowance every week. Instead of frittering away their stipend, teens can exercise a little discipline and save towards something bigger—like concert tickets, a designer bag, or even gap year travel.
  • I will spend quality time with my parents once a week. Because quality time with your teen rarely occurs organically.

  • I will learn to cook breakfast. You’ve waited a long time to be served breakfast in bed by the fruit of your womb, and the day has finally come.