Making your family better, stronger and more harmonious may not require a complete overhaul, but rather a few strategic tweaks.
Instead of making the same-old lofty NYE resolutions to hit the gym and eat healthier, here are five concrete and tangible parenting goals to set for the year ahead.
Keep kids riding rear-facing as long as possible, up to the limits of their car seat. This will include virtually all children under 2 and most children up to age 4. If you are past the car-seat stage of parenting, congrats! If you're still in the thick of it, check for any new car seat laws that may be going into effect in your state in the new year. Remind anyone who transports your child by car.
Take a CPR class and learn to use an AED. Cardiac arrest kills more than 7,000 children and more than 345,000 adults every year outside a hospital setting. Some of these deaths could be prevented by bystanders with training in basic life-saving skills or access to an AED machine. When a child is not breathing in a drowning emergency, for example, CPR should begin immediately. Ask your pediatrician to recommend a class near you.
Get everyone vaccinated for flu. The flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, your children, and other loved ones from the flu! Children, especially those in child care or school settings, are more likely to get sick with flu and spread it to others. Here are some prevention tips. As adults, we know to wash our hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing, sneezing, or wiping noses. Help your little ones learn good hand hygiene habits in the new year.
Do better with digital. What are your kids watching on TV and online? Devote some time to researching age-appropriate media, and remember that screen time shouldn't always be alone time. Watch a show together. Play a video game together. Understand what they are doing and be a part of it.
Practice some self-care. When was the last time you had a check-up? Got proper rest? Once a baby is no longer a part of your body, it's easy to forget that tight association between how you care for yourself and how you care for your child's health. We also know depression and anxiety can happen to both moms and dads during and after pregnancy. If this is you, you are not alone. Help is near.