Parent Tip of the Week: Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

Parent Tip of the Week: Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

Lose weight? Check. Start exercising? Check. Stop smoking? Check.

It can be daunting when your list of New Year’s Resolutions is as long as your holiday shopping list. In addition to the post-holiday slump, not being able to keep your resolutions by February, March or even late January may increase your anxiety. When your holiday decorations are packed up and stored away, the frustration of an unused gym membership or other reminders of failed resolutions can make the later winter months feel hopeless.

However, it is important to remember that the New Year isn’t meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes. It is a time for people to reflect on their past year’s behavior and promise to make positive lifestyle changes. “Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for,” says psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD. “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.”

By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year, incorporating healthy behavior into your everyday life. APA offers these tips when thinking about a News Year’s resolution:

Start small
Make resolutions that you think you can keep. If, for example, your aim is to exercise more frequently, schedule three or four days a week at the gym instead of seven. If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yogurt, instead of seeing your diet as a form of punishment.

Change one behavior at a time
Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time.

Talk about it
Share your experiences with family and friends. Consider joining a support group to reach your goals, such as a workout class at your gym or a group of coworkers quitting smoking. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle that much easier and less intimidating.

Don’t beat yourself up
Perfection is unattainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and OK. Don’t give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your diet, or skipped the gym for a week because you were busy. Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track.

Ask for support
Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and ability to manage stress caused by your resolution. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking professional help. Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body. They can offer strategies as to how to adjust your goals so that they are attainable, as well as help you change unhealthy behaviors and address emotional issues.

Article courtesy of the American Psychological Association. For more information,  visit http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resolution.aspx

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Child Developmental Chart and Age-Appropriate Toys

Today’s Parent Tip of the Week is brought to
you by Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center

This developmental chart lists some skills typical of a child’s development from infancy through 5 years old. Children may vary in their development. If you have any questions concerning your child’s development, contact your pediatrician and/or ask about an early intervention program, such as that provided by Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (call 216-698-7500 for information).

1-3 Months

Babies like to:
Listen to musical sounds
Stare at movement and light
Be held and rocked
Reach/feel with open hands

Give your baby:
Soft musical toys/rattles
Lamps throwing light patterns
Your arms, singing, smile

4-6 months

Babies like to:
Shake, feel and bang things
Sit with support

Give your baby:
Crib gym
Cups, spoons and pot lids
High chair suction toys

7-9 months

Babies like to:
Roll over and pivot on stomach
Throw, wave and bang toys
Gum objects

Give your baby:
Bathtub toys
Teether and gumming toys
Space to roll around

10-12 months

Babies like to:
Play pat-a-cake
Pull up and get back down
Place things where they’re wanted

Give your baby:
Motion toys
Baking tins and clothes pins
Nestled plastic cups

1 year to 15 months

Babies like to:
Use one or two words
Be hugged
Try feeding themselves

Give your baby:
Lots of conversation
Personal dish, cup and spoon
You on the floor

16 months to 2 years

Babies like to:
Get into everything
Identify parts of themselves
Fetch and carry
Turn pages

Give your baby:
A childproof house
A shape sorting box
A toy telephone
Picture books

2 years to 30 months

Babies like to:
Help with housework
Kick a large ball
Play on riding toys

Give your baby:
Large balls and push toys
Tricycle or big wheel
Shelves to put things away

30 months to 3 years

Children like to:
Put clothing on
Work with their fingers
Sing songs and repeat rhymes

Give your child:
Big crayons and paper
Tape player or record player
Construction sets

3 years to 4 years

Children like to:
Cut with rounded scissors
Play games with other children
Play with sand and water

Give your child:
More responsibility
Things to cut and paste
Backyard pool or sandbox

4 years to 5 years

Children like to:
Play ball
Repeat nursery rhymes
Dress themselves
Sing songs

Give your child:
Balls of different sizes
Time to dress himself
Love and affection