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Make Positive Resolutions for the Family

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Now that I am really thinking about the whole “resolutions” thing I am really thinking of this time of year as a great opportunity to make positive changes within the family. There are two times of year that are good to do this, at the beginning of a New Year, and when school starts in the fall. It continues to be a good time to at least gather together and talk about what each family member resolves to do. Doesn’t have to be long or “deep” but at a minimum it gives us all a reminder of things we would like to change or improve upon.

So, when I asked our youngest son what he wanted to resolve this year his “very deep” responses were, #1: get my body back into better shape (how much more can boys work out?) and #2: to “get a girlfriend”. After that I inquired, “how do you get a girlfriend in college?” and his reply was “If I knew that I wouldn’t have to make a resolution.” Now he would die to know that I am writing this, but knowing that he never reads my blogs, I am safe.  So much for family resolutions with a 19-year-old.

The middle son, now working in New York resolved to try and work less than 100 hours a week and to try and make some food at home that requires a stove and cooking, at least once a week, as a money saving venture.

Oldest gets a “hall pass” while on his honeymoon; tried to e-mail but got “auto-reply, out of office!”

I think the money saving idea is a good resolution for families too. I often try to encourage new parents to stop smoking and to put the money they would spend on cigarettes into a bank account earmarked, “family Disney trip”. I swear by the time their kids were old enough to go they would have saved enough money for the trip and be a lot healthier, as would their children. The same goes for teens who smoke, save that money for a car and gas.

I think my final resolution is to try to stress less and enjoy the moment more. Good advice for all ages too. Young children are feeling stress like never before, with schoolwork, friends and being overscheduled even in preschool and elementary school. Tweens and teens feel so much pressure from school, friends and parents, and have so many complaints of inability to sleep, stomachaches, and headaches many of which are triggered by stress. It is my hope that this new decade will teach us all to slow down and remember how to spend time enjoying family. This pace just can’t keep up.

So what are your resolutions?  That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat again tomorrow.

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