In my home growing up, after the ball dropped in New York City on New Year’s Eve, my family would share a word for the new year. Kind of like your family might share resolutions, we’d each give one word we’d hope would influence our year.
Many words have been used over the years. Some of the most memorable were words like graduation, laughter and puppies. Each an illustration of what we would be working toward, or trying to get our parents to get us, that year.
With each new year and set of words, our family worked together to help make those words a reality. When times were hard, our teamwork would bring out the best in all of us.
Sometimes it was jokes that were told during a year someone wanted to laugh more or help with homework before a graduation. Our words helped tie us together as the days went by, and became especially important when we were teenagers.
If you and your family were to choose words this year, what would they be?
Maybe 2019 needs to be a year for boundaries. Every home needs them to be healthy and they can help your teen feel secure. Over the next year, work with your teen on things like a curfew or some of the rules you have for their behavior. Talk with your teen about why you want to set boundaries for them and discuss the consequences for not following through with them.
This year may need to be one for conversations. Is there a topic that you’ve been nervous to talk about with your family? Perhaps you want to share some wisdom with your teen about safe driving or intentionally ask them what they know about underage drinking. While these conversations may feel awkward at first, they often get easier the more you have them.
Some great ways to start them can be asking your teen about their life. What are their friends doing? How do they feel about the things their peers are getting involved in? Then you can work your way up to asking them about their own drinking habits.
Perhaps you need to choose to make memories in 2019. Committing to make memories is a wonderful way to strengthen your family. Plus, memories are the things that will last for years and year.
This could be a great year to spend birthdays camping, no matter the weather. Or drive to a city you’ve never been to every month. Your teen may resist some of your ideas, but once the fun begins they’re sure to join.
No matter what word you may feel your family needs in 2019, there are countless ways you can make this year great. Chances are that there are even more words that your family could choose from as 2018 ends. Choosing well and working together to keep your words prevalent throughout the year, everyone in your family can benefit. So, start making memories and beginning conversations. Together, you and your family can make sure that every part of 2019 is merry and bright.