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Dads' New Year Resolutions


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Christmas is over and the end of the year is almost upon us. It's a time when most of us think over the past year and consider making New Year Resolutions. January 1st marks the beginning of a new year and a clean slate.

Few of us actually live up fully to all the commitments we make. And that's okay. What's more important is that we try to retain the spirit with which they were made. Even by acting upon just a few from the original list, and maybe even then only partially, we can still make the annual ritual of New Year resolutions a worthwhile exercise. Additionally, the very act of writing down a task, objective, or resolution makes it more likely that you'll follow through on it.

Dads, here is a list of some New Year Resolutions ideas to help you make the coming year a great one for yourself, your spouse and your kids:

For yourself

  • While it's great being a dad and shouldering responsibility for the well-being of your family, you have your own life too. Rediscover a hobby that you loved, but gave up because you felt you lacked the time to nurture it. Or seek out a new one, maybe take up golf, or gardening.

  • Implement a fitness regime for yourself. A daily jogging schedule or workout session using a home gym, treadmill, exercise bike, or elliptical trainer will help you stay in shape and is the biggest investment you can make for yourself - and for your family.

  • At the end of a busy day, spare yourself the time to catch up on your reading.

    For your spouse

  • Start dating your wife all over again! Buy her flowers, a box of chocolates, or a gift, and take her out to dinner, or to the movies. It will keep the spark in your marriage alive, and help beat the stress out of everyday living.

  • If possible, plan a quarterly getaway without the kids. Time away from the kids will give you time to reconnect with your spouse as a partner, rather than as a mom. You'll both find it easier to come home to the kids if you have time to escape the routines of parenthood with the one person who shares the responsibility for getting you in this situation in the first place.

    For your kids

  • Resolve to be more available to your family. This does not necessarily mean spending more time with your spouse and children, but ensuring that you spend quality time with them. If you use a Blackberry or other PDA, consider giving yourself some rules on its use. Turn it off during meals, keep it out of the bedroom, or resolve to quit using it while driving.

  • At all times, resolve to be more patient with your children: while this one may seem difficult, it is not impossible.

  • Make a list of things you like to do and do them with your kids. Sometimes, dads feel guilty that they aren't doing the “right" things with their kids during spare time. The key thing, though, is that you spend time with them. They will appreciate your passion and may even take up activities that you can share with them as they turn into young adults.

  • Take the kids on that long pending camping trip. There is simply no better way to bond with your children than to have them experience the great outdoors while living in a tent.

  • Use a camera to put together a photographic record of your family. Or document the growing years of your children on a camcorder. Studies show that happy people find ways to extend or relive happy times. One way they do that is by taking photos and recording events that make them feel good.

  • Read out to your kids. Reading from books meant for your children's age group, and following it up with a stimulating discussion or debate, can make for an enriching family activity. For young infants, you can read out from illustrated board books, while pointing out the pictures to them.

  • Introduce your kids to a hobby. By encouraging your child to pick up a musical instrument, for instance, you will be giving him or her, an interest that will last a lifetime.

  • Introduce your kids to astronomy. A telescope, or even a good pair of binoculars, will open up the wonders of the night sky to them. Similarly, a Star Theater Home Planetarium will allow you to bring the stars right into your living room.

  • Decorate your children's room, using a theme in keeping with the special interests of your child; he/ she will always love you for it.

    It seems obvious that everyone sets that standard themselves. Being a great dad isn't achieving one set of measures, or even ensuring that your child confirms you're a great dad whenever prompted

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