Helping to make your family stronger, safer and more harmonious may not require a complete overhaul, but rather a few strategic tweaks.
Here are five simple and concrete parenting goals to set for the year ahead.
1. Get everyone vaccinated for flu. The flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, your children, and other loved ones from the flu. It’s especially important this year as COVID-19 still spreads. Call your pediatrician to make sure your children are up-to-date on other immunizations. Teach them good hand hygeine habits as a way to help prevent the spread of germs.
2. Do good digital. What are your kids watching on TV and online? Devote some time to researching age-appropriate media. Make a family media use plan, and try to prevent gaming from becoming an unhealthy habit. Remember that screen time shouldn’t always be alone time. Watch a show together. Play a video game together. Understand what they are doing and be a part of it.
3. Get outside more. Spending time outdoors can be a great mood booster, and help families get physical activity and vitamin D while enjoying time in nature. Spending time outside also give your child’s eyes a healthy screen-time break.
4. Keep kids riding rear-facing as long as possible, up to the limits of their car seat. This will include virtually all children under 2 and most children up to age 4. If you are past the car-seat stage of parenting, congrats! If you’re still in the thick of it, check for any new car seat laws that may be going into effect in your state in the new year. Remind anyone who transports your child by car.
5. Practice some self-care. When was the last time you had a check-up? Got proper rest? Once a baby is no longer a part of your body, it’s easy to forget that tight association between how you care for yourself and how you care for your child’s health. We also know depression and anxiety can happen to both moms and dads during and after pregnancy. If this is you, you are not alone. Help is near.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2020). The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.