Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hello 2017! New Years Resolutions for the Family!

As we ring in the New Year, we all have a better idea on how we can make improvements that will add more quality in our lives. At Learning Ridge, we are beginning the year with spending time with family and understanding what it really takes to have a great foundation for learning and raising great children! (Thank you to my mother-in-law and father-in-law in sharing some great secrets with me!)

If you are a parent, here are 7 Great New Years Resolutions for your Family!

1. Stay Organized

One of the most important aspects of life is staying organized. As I walked in and out of the kitchen, I noticed my mother would keep her calendar and a stenographers notebook that showcased what she wanted to buy for the week.

2. Keep up with a Schedule

Yes, you are busy and so is everyone else. It is hard to keep up with one schedule, let alone schedules that include your spouse and your children. However you wish to maintain peace and order in the house, keep a schedule in analog or digital form and make sure that it is updated constantly or else, you'll end up double booking, missing appointments, or annoying providers with cancelations or last minute requests.

3. Communicate

If I learned one important aspect of this holiday season, it was the fact that life is too short to be spent on technology when you are with family. I enjoyed spending time with family and there is nothing that compares to watching old home movies or taking turns catching up on your life. There is an art and a closeness that you feel when you put the phone, video games and tablets away and you begin enjoying life all over again.

4. Gratitude

Before we end our year, we always remember to wish our clients a great holiday season and to thank them for such a great year. It is a tradition that we have in our company that I've held on to for the last few years and continue to do as it makes me remember those who have reminded me of why I do what I do.

When you show your children that they need to be grateful for what they have (and work diligently for things that they do not have yet), it creates character and reinforces the lost art of delayed gratification in a world where everything needs to happen instantaneously. Trust me, you are not a horrible parent if you tell your child, "Not yet.." every once in a while.

5. Walking/Hiking/Enjoying a Moment with the Family

I have only a few memories of enjoying a nice walk with my dad in the deserts of the Southwest, but I do remember him and I spending time together and enjoying memories that only I have of him. He always made it a point to tell me that our weekly trips to Home Depot would consist of buying a toilet even though he would pick out a new tool or a bag of nails. Sorry dad, you always thought that you could fool me but you can only have so many toilets in a three bathroom house!

As I spent the last few weeks with my in-laws,  we would go on far walks with his parents either before dinner or after dinner. It was probably one of the highlights of our day as each walk would be another step towards discovery of my husband's family. He would tell us stories of his childhood and jobs that he had before he finished college (really father-in-law, you were a Volunteer Firefighter?) and sometimes we came to the realization that he had a pretty exciting life before he had kids.

It's important to do something with your child that does not require anything more than you and them whether it is going for a walk or sharing your favorite memory of riding your first bike. Your children love you and want to get to know you. Don't substitute a box full of toys for your chance to show your children who you are.

6. Invent a New Tradition

We came across this just recently as it was something unplanned, unexpected, and extremely embarrassing to even share with you.

Traditionally on New Years, we cook a nice meal and catch up on our favorite television series. This New Years, we travelled in the afternoon, arrived at a home filled with "weekday" food, and a village that was closed except for a gas station and a McDonald's. Instead of engaging in a family duel that would have anyone think that this was a new "Hunger Games" movie (New Years Edition), we went to McDonalds for New Years.

Instead of doing the same old routine, come up with a tradition that everyone in your family can take part in. This one (albeit I would not recommend for us next year as a McDonald's meal is something that takes a few years to metabolize out of my system) is one that is spent with family and reminds us of what is important: don't take life too seriously. It's quality, not quantity and there is nothing better than enjoying a really good laugh with the ones that you love.

7. Make Sure To Support Your Children's Education

For some reason, it is becoming harder and harder for parents and caregivers to build stronger connections with children. No matter what happens, your children look to you first and foremost to have all of the answers. Despite the fact that you really know your children, sometimes you may not know what is best for them because you are too subjective.

If you are having a difficult time in reaching your child please know that it is not your fault. You are simply too good of a parent for them to fire and they want you to find someone else to fill in that role of a psychologist, counselor, or educational strategist. If you need help with your child's private, public, or homeschool education, please feel free to contact Christine at (404) 964-8533 or you can email me at

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