My Family Chose My Resolutions, and What They Said Surprised Me

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new years resolutionsEvery new year, the “resolution” word looms around the corner. Even thinking of the pressure to find the Perfect Resolutions which I then had to struggle to keep made my nerves rattle. So as an experiment this year, I turned the defining of my “resolutions” over to my family!

I know it sounds a little odd. I thought I would get crazy, silly, easy resolutions from my three kids, ages 4 to 8. But like many times in our daily life, my children surprised me. Their resolutions were age appropriate, fit each child’s personality and made me pause with self-reflection. True, the kids nailed my “weaknesses” which I try every year to improve upon, but hearing them in my children’s voices gives me extra motivation to do better this year.

RESOLUTION #1: My four year old really did not understand the challenged posed to him. Nonetheless, he tried to explain what he would like me to do better. “Do not hug so tight!” I had no idea I had a flaw in my hugging style. He did not criticize the amount of hugs – just that they were too tight. Easy as 1-2-3 and DONE! I can definitely improve on this one 🙂

RESOULTION #2: My six year old daughter didn’t need much time to reflect. Her resolution for me was out of her mouth before I had even finished asking the question. It all revolved around how I handle myself when I am upset with her. Truth is, I can be a yeller at times. I have tried to be the parent who talks calmly through a situation, but when I feel I am not being heard, I boil over and start yelling.

Her beautiful blue-grey eyes said it all. She asked that I speak more quietly to her when I get upset, and not to comment in front of others – even her sister and brother. I realized she is growing up and feels embarrassed when Mommy has to intervene, especially when others are watching. Changing this behavior will be my hardest resolution this year by far. But she is more than worth it!

RESOLUTION #3: My eight year old daughter took her time when I asked her. She left and collected her thoughts so she could properly communicate the change she would like to see in me. In the end, I was not surprised by her response, but proud of the articulation in her request. She delicately asked to be included in part of the family decision making. She would like to have her suggestions, thoughts, and ideas heard and considered. She realized that she cannot be involved in everything, but when it directly related to her, she would appreciate me “pausing to listen.”

I knew that I know my children, but I forgot they know me too. With my Type A personality and military background, to be told to pause and listen can be hard. I am a very organized planner and I strive to be efficient. I typically see a problem, think of a solution, and communicate the answer. For the sake of accomplishing something quickly, I can at times disregard consulting others. I accept this resolution and will try harder to consult with parties involved regarding major decisions – and little ones too.

RESOLUTION #4: My husband and I will be celebrating 10 years of marriage in February. We have a great marriage but like any couple we have had our ups and downs. We have a joint resolution for each other. The gesture is so simple, but has gotten lost over the years: saying “I love you” at the end of our phone conversation. That phrase is used often in our house towards one another in actions and in words, but, as of late, not when ending a phone conversation. We have already begun work on this new resolution and it’s easier than I thought for me. My hubby can still be challenged to remember due to time constraints at work, but at least he is aware. Just a couple of days ago, he forgot that important phrase while rushing to another patient. I knew he was crazy busy and I forgave him. But then, the phone rang, and it was him. “I love you” is all I heard on the other end, then click! He is a work in progress, but I love him!

I wish everyone much success on your resolutions for 2015!

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