February 12, 2014 —

The beginning of the year is always an exciting time because we get to make ambitious resolutions and start fresh. It’s fun to create new challenges for ourselves, but then reality sets in and we start thinking about how we’re going to stick with those lofty goals. Now that life is back in full swing after the holidays, that parenting resolution you made a month ago can seem like just another task on your long to-do list.

Whether your resolution was to have more ongoing conversations with your teen or to spend more time with your teen like I talked about in my December post, you chose to improve your relationship because you care. Many people stop pursuing year-long resolutions (did you know: 54 percent give up on their resolutions within six months!) because they choose something they aren’t truly passionate about. Lucky for you, your passion for creating and maintaining a healthy, thriving relationship with your teen makes keeping your parenting resolution even easier than you thought. Need a bit more encouragement? Here are some other tips:

  1. Modify your resolution. If your original resolution game plan doesn’t seem to be sticking, tweak it. Adjust your resolution so that it suits the relationship you currently have with your teen and the relationship you are working to build.
  2. Track your progress. As moms, we love the feeling of scratching tasks off our to-do lists. Create ways to measure your progress with your resolution, like small attainable goals you can scratch off. For example, if your resolution is to establish open communication with your teen, set a goal to ask your teen about something going on in his or her life (new friends, favorite classes, fun hobbies, etc.) each week. Take it a step further by checking the weeks off on your calendar or document your experiences in a blog.
  3. Reward your accomplishments. You’re going above and beyond by working to improve your relationship with your teen. Go ahead, treat yourself to a manicure or even a special outing with your teen when you’ve reached (or gotten a bit closer to) the goals you set.

Don’t you want to be part of the 8 percent who succeeds in sticking with their new year’s resolutions through the end of the year? Just like the many tasks on your to-do list, pursuing your parenting new year’s resolution requires a little extra effort and creativity. Stay motivated and in 11 months you’ll be enjoying a better relationship with your teen… and have something to check off your to-do list! Share your tips and ideas below and feel free to learn from others.