Meaningful Resolutions for Caring Adults

Whether you are a New Year's "resolution enthusiast" or somewhat skeptical about the usefulness of these sort of goals, there's nothing like a chance to start fresh. This is especially true when it comes to caring for the children in our lives. 

If you're ready to recommit to nurturing the kids who look to you for guidance, here are just a few resolutions to consider:

  1. Put on your breathing mask first: You know what they tell you on airplanes—in the case of an emergency, be sure to take care of yourself first and then a child in need of care. That may seem counterintuitive, but the concept is very applicable when a child is trying your temper (it happens to all of us!). Resolve to take a minute to get your own emotions in check and then talk to the child about whatever incident has occurred—you'll be happy you did!
  2. Listen, then talk: It's easy to start doling out advice; it's a lot more challenging to listen to what a child is telling you is on his or her heart. By doing so, however, you will better understand whatever situation they are facing and you will also help them see how much you care for them.
  3. Commit to quality time: Even if it's five minutes of one-on-one time, resolve to give each child your undivided attention. Yes, this means putting down the SmartPhone, resisting the urge to multi-task (a hard one, I know!), and making eye contact. Every time you do this, you are building the foundation of a strong, lasting relationship.
  4. Model virtue: How tempting it is to repeat the old saying, "Do what I say, not what I do!" Yet, we know that kids are watching our actions just as much (if not more!) than they are listening to what we tell them. Find an area of your life in which you'd like to more conscientiously strive for virtue. Examples could include: keeping your temper while driving; practicing moderation in eating and drinking; always speaking of others with kindness; or reaching out to those on the margins of your community. 
  5. Pray for them daily: As parents or caregivers, the most powerful thing we can do for children is pray for them. We know from experience the grace we need to thrive. Consider setting aside a consistent time each day to pray for them and also for the grace to care for them as God intends.

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