- Stop yelling at my kids: LOL j/k j/k j/k j/k. If I don’t yell at them HOW WILL THEY KNOW WHEN I’M UNHAPPY? Seriously, though, I try not to make resolutions that I know I won’t keep, so let’s say only yell at my kids when I am really, really mad.
- Try not to go to preschool pick up with wet hair. Drop off? That’s another story. Because 8:30 comes pretty early when you have 4 kids to feed and shove out the front door. I don’t mind getting up at 5-ish to work out, but usually 5-ish becomes more like 5:45-ish, and my shower window gets squeezed, and sometimes I don’t have time to do my hair (ALL THE TIME, NOT SOMETIMES. I NEVER HAVE TIME). Pick up, though, is like 3 hours later. As a self-respecting adult, I should have time to wash and dry my hair in the 180-kid-free minutes that preschool affords me. So. I’ll work on it.
- More movie nights. The kids love the novelty of staying up late. I love sitting on the couch eating popcorn. This should be a match made in heaven, but it’s SO LOVELY to put everyone to bed and have a glass of wine and just clock out for the day that I don’t do it often enough.
- Stop saying no when I’m just being lazy. I think 80% of the time, I say no when I could easily say yes. Play Doh. Getting everyone bundled up to go outside AGAIN. Making cupcakes. Playing hide and seek. These are things that everyone would have fun dong and the only thing that stands in the way is my desire to sit quietly and read a book.
- Drop everything and read. I am pretty good about reading to and with my kids, but in 2017, if anyone asks to read a book no matter what else I am doing, I will stop doing that thing and read the darn book.
- More sleepovers and random extra kids at the dinner table. This goes along with #4, but this year, I am going to make a concerted effort to invite more kids over. I am always more than happy to send my own kids out to play, but I am less forthcoming with invitations to their friends. I think part of the fault lies with cell phones. When I was in third and fifth grade (the age of my 2 oldest kids), I would make my own plans by calling my friends on their house phones. But people don’t really use house phones anymore (we have one that NEVER rings), so parents wind up being the plan makers well beyond the age of play dates.
- Channel my inner Daniel Tiger’s mom. Seriously, you guys. Daniel Tiger’s mom is the BEST MOM EVER. She’s funny. She’s creative. She’s patient. She always remembers that kids are kids and is developmentally appropriate with her expectations and rewards. And natural consequences? Daniel Tiger’s mom has got that stuff figured OUT.
- Be a team. I got the idea for #7 from my husband when I asked him for parenting resolutions, and he said he wants to be more like Caillou’s dad (Which? An excellent goal. Caillou is basically the worst kid ever, but his dad is so good natured and patient and lovely. He’s probably heavily medicated. For instance! I just watched an episode where Caillou left his favorite sweater at preschool and then had a bad dream about all of the horrible things that could be happening to his sweater and woke his parents up screaming about the darn sweater. And his dad! Was like oh, Caillou, it’s really early, but let’s walk over to school and get your sweater so you don’t have to worry. I KNOW that for me this would have been one of those okay-to-yell-because-I-am-really-really-mad– about the lost sweater AND the early wake up–but Caillou’s dad just took it in blissed-out-on-Xanax-stride), and his suggestion made me realize what a great parenting partner I have. We need to work together to play to each other’s strengths in the new year. For instance, he LOVES to play in the snow with the kids, but I, um, really don’t. You know what I do like to do, though? Make hot chocolate.
Ok. So. Less yelling, more grooming, more fun, more reading, more friends, more working together. These are goals the whole Tiger family can get behind. What about you? I’d love to hear your ideas for better parenting in 2017.