Five New Year's resolutions for dads

As things return to normal after the hectic festive season, now's the time to start looking forwards and setting some goals for the year ahead. Whether you're an old hand at being a dad or completely new to parenting, making some realistic and achievable resolutions is a great way to kick off 2018

The new year is the perfect time to set some goals for you and your family | Image: Suzanne Plunkett

1. Make more time for your children 

Your kids probably have all the toys they need post-Christmas, but nothing compensates for quality time spent with one of their favourite people – their dad. Making sure you spend some time with your kids each day if you can will do wonders for your relationships. Try eating together as a family (without the distraction of the telly), reading them a book before bedtime, or spending the day out together having fun. Check out our days out with the kids section for some ideas.

2. Try positive parenting

We know they can make you want to pull your hair out at times, but try to make sure you focus on the good things your children achieve, rather than just reacting to bad behaviour. So, they've painted the kitchen table... on the plus side, they were making a picture for daddy at the time, so it's not all bad! They may not always show it, but kids want and need the approval of their parents to help them feel secure and loved, so take stock and make sure that Dad gives them plenty of encouragement and praise, as well as dishing out the discipline. 

3. Set yourself goals, not only as a parent but as the person you are

Children are inspired and learn from the achievements of the role models around them, which of course includes their dad. So try to lead by example and set yourself some goals. As they watch you achieve them, your kids will become familiar with setting and achieving their own personal goals too, just like daddy.

4. Keep up your other interests

Of course your kids are the centre of your world, but remember they may not be the prime focus in everyone else's. Make sure you continue to show an interest in what your friends and family are up to, and make sure you keep your other interests up, too, so that your conversation isn't limited to the hilarious antics of your little ones – not only will your life be more exciting and fulfilling, your mates will thank you for it too! 

5. Be a fun parent 

As long as there are clear rules and boundaries in place, you can have fun with your children, too. Try not to let your bad day at work rub off on the way you greet your children from school. It's not their fault, and while your day may have been bad, your kids will likely liven up your evening before bedtime if you give them a chance. Having to tip-toe around grumpy daddy will make children nervous and lacking in confidence, so no matter how little you're feeling like playing, make an effort to have at least some fun or leisure time with them each day. While all kids benefit from boundaries, laughter and fun are important ingredients in a good relationship too. 

Remember, being a parent or becoming a parent is the perfect opportunity to shake things up a bit. Good parenting is about evolving and making changes that are beneficial to you and your family, and now is the perfect time to assess where any changes need to be made, and start making them happen.

Happy New Year!



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