Even keeping just one of these could make a big difference.
To my kids,
I’ve made some New Year’s resolutions for the three of us. Yes, I know I could let you two make your own, but if I did, they would be, “Watch more Scooby-Doo,” and, “Eat more icing sugar.” So we’re going to run with mine. But don’t worry, they’re going to make life better for the three of us. Promise.
1. I’m going to have more “me” time.
I know that sounds a bit selfish, but it’s not, really. When I spend all day dealing with the endless requests and demands that begin with “Mum…”, I start to feel a bit put-upon. I’m going to take more time out just for me, so I can be in a better mood when I’m with you.
2. I'm going to put down my phone when I'm with you and really listen to whatever you're saying.
Yes, even if you're telling me about that bloody Shaun the Sheep game again. It's not polite to be on the phone when I'm with my adult friends, so it's not polite to be on the phone when I'm with you either. Anyway, going on Facebook and seeing what all my friends are having for dinner just makes me hungry.
3. I'm going to stop picking up after you.
I need to train you to put away your own clothes and toys and dirty dishes, even though it's usually quicker to do it myself. That way, you won't have to listen to me complaining about the mess around the house, and you won't have to hear your dad screaming in pain because he's trodden on a tiny piece of Peppa Pig's furniture.
4. I'm going to stop taking "good" for an answer when I ask you how your day at school was.
I want to know what schoolwork you're finding a struggle and I want to know whether anything happened in the schoolyard that upset you. I want to hear about little problems before they become big ones.