New year goals

New year goals
Family Activities
Anne O’Connell


Make an agreement with your child to do something special that will help make this year a good one. Write out your intention, put it in an envelope and keep it in a safe place — remind yourselves about it every now and then.

A good new year’s goal for any family is to simplify and slow down life with our children. We could go through the toys we have collected in the last year and get rid of all the things that the kids no longer play with, or put them away to be used with a younger child later. If the children are feeling out of sorts after the excitement of Christmas and new year, we can help them to accept and express their emotions.

They can begin to realise it is all part of life. Traditionally, 12th night, January 5 is when all of the Christmas decorations are removed. January is also a good time to put up a calendar in a child’s bedroom. This can be a simple one with the day and the date, which can be bought or made. Family birthdays, special days and holidays can be written in. Help the children to text, email or write to their friends and family to wish them blessings for the new year.

Life with toddlers

Sometimes we ask a small child to wait while we finish our tasks so we can play with him afterward. Why not slow down? A small child loves to join in the work of the home, and in the conversation that goes along with it. At this age, language is linked with action. By encouraging the child to help with household chores, he/she will gain a feeling of greater connection with the family and of competence. For example, washing a few items in his own bowl or washing some small clothes will be great fun and an opportunity to learn. Standing on a chair next to the worktop, he/she can help to make a meal. They can help to carry the sticks in for the fire, or can dust and clean.

Comfort in a cup

If you have small children with you and the weather is too bad to go out, stay in your pyjamas and light a fire. Have plenty of cosy throws, hot water bottles, cocoa, toast and some marshmallows.


3 cups milk

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate, grated

1 tablespoon sugar

Pinch of ground cinnamon

1 egg

Cooking Instructions:

Put milk into a microwave-safe container and cook in microwave for two minutes. Mix in chocolate, sugar, and cinnamon. In a small bowl, whisk an egg until smooth, then mix it into the chocolate mixture.