The start of the new year is a great time to help your children focus on forming good habits. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides the following list of ideas for you to talk to your children about trying, depending on their age.
- I will try hard to clean up my toys by putting them where they belong.
- I will let my parents help me brush my teeth twice a day.
- I will wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
- I will learn how to help clear the table when I am done eating.
- I will be friendly to all animals. I will learn how to ask the owners if I can pet their animal first.
- I will do my best to be nice to other kids who need a friend or look sad or lonely.
- I will talk with my parent or a trusted adult when I need help or am scared.
Kids, 5 to 12 years old
- I will drink reduced-fat milk and water most days. Soda and fruit drinks are only for special times.
- I will take care of my skin by putting on sunscreen before I go outdoors on bright, sunny days. I will try to remember to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I'm playing sports.
- I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week!
- I will always wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter or skateboard.
- I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I'll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.
- I'll try to be friendly to kids who may have a hard time making friends by asking them to join activities such as sports or games.
- I will tell an adult about bullying that I see or hear about to do what I can to help keep school safe for everyone.
- I will keep my personal info safe and not share my name, home address, school name or telephone number on the Internet. Also, I'll never send a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer without asking my parent if it is okay.
- I will try to talk with my parent or a trusted adult when I have a problem or feel stressed.
- I promise that I'll do my best to follow our household rules for videogames and internet use.
Kids, 13 years old and older
- I will try to eat two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables every day. I will drink sodas only at special times.
- I will do my best to take care of my body through fun physical activity and eating the right types and amounts of foods.
- When I have some down time for media, I will try to choose educational, high-quality nonn-violent TV shows and video games that I enjoy. I will spend only one to two hours each day – at the most – on these activities. I promise to respect out household rules for videogames and internet use.
- I will do what I can to help out in my community. I will give some of my time to help others, working with community groups or others that help people in need. These activities will make me feel better about myself and my community.
- When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find helpful ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or talking about my problem with a parent or friend.
- When faced with a difficult decision, I will talk about my choices with an adult whom I can trust.
- When I notice my friends are struggling, being bullied or making risky choices, I will look for a trusted adultso that we can attempt to find a way to help.
- I will be careful about whom I choose to date. I will treat the other person with respect and not force them to do something they do not want to do. I will not use violence. I will expect to be treated the same way in return.
- I will resist peer pressure to try tobacco-cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol. I will also avoid the use of e-cigarettes.
- I agree not to use a cell phone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt.
Additional Information from HealthyChildren.org: