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New Year's Eve & Day

New Year's Eve & Day

Parent Tips > Holidays & Annual Events > New Year's Eve & Day

Tips for a healthier new year

* Prevent violence by setting good examples
Demonstrate and teach displays of affection, attention, approval, and how to say ‘I'm sorry' and how to ask for, give and accept forgiveness. All of these promote love, good will, self-esteem and reduce likelihood of violence, aggression, and negative, destructive words and behaviors.
Set limits for your children by letting them know what's expected, and notice when they meet your expectations. Celebrate their successes with them. Try to avoid hitting, slapping or spanking. Your children may copy you and think that it is OK to hit other people.
* Make sure immunizations are up to date
Review your child's immunization record with your pediatrician. Make sure your child is current on recommended immunizations.
* Provide your child with a tobacco-free environment
Second-hand tobacco smoke increases ear infections, chest infections and even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. If you smoke, consider quitting. Remember, your child loves you and will copy you - if you smoke, your children may grow up to be smokers too. Make your home and car smoke-free zones.
* Read to your child every day
Start by the age of 6 months. Reading to children shows them the importance of communication and motivates them to become readers. It also provides a context to discuss issues and learn what is on your child's mind.
* Practice "safety on wheels"
Make sure everyone in the car is buckled up for every ride, with children in the back seat in age-appropriate child safety seats. All bikers, skaters and skateboarders should wear helmets and other appropriate sports gear.
* Do a "childproofing" survey of your home
A child's-eye view home survey should systematically go from room to room, removing all the "booby traps" that await the curious toddler or preschooler. Think of poisons, small objects, sharp edges, knives and firearms, and places to fall.
* Monitor your children's media
Monitor what your children see and hear on television, in movies, and in music. Talk with your children about "content." Screen out sexually exploitative Web sites, music and video. Be informed of what your children see or hear when visiting friends. If you feel that a movie or TV program is inappropriate, redirect them to more suitable programming.
* Help Kids Understand Tobacco, Alcohol, and the Media
Help your teenager understand the difference between the misleading messages in advertising and the truth about the dangers of using alcohol and tobacco products. Talk about ads with your child. Help your child understand the real messages being conveyed. Help direct your child toward TV shows and movies that do not glamorize the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.
* Pay attention to nutrition
Nutrition makes a big difference in how kids grow, develop and learn. Good nutrition is a matter of balance. Provide foods from several food groups at each meal. Emphasize foods that are less processed, such as whole grain breads and cereals and fresh fruits and vegetables. Review your child's diet with your pediatrician for suggestions.
* Be involved in your child's school and your child's education
Visit your child's school, and find out how parents can help. Whether you become active in the parent-teacher organization or volunteer in the school, parent involvement matters. Your child will notice how important education is to you.
* Make your children feel loved and important
Recognize every effort and increment of ‘progress' or ‘improvement' they make; don't compare siblings; understand your child's behaviors and emotions; recognize ‘hidden agendas' like acting up, may be a cry for attention and help; not doing homework may be a sign of distraction or learning problems.
Keep expectations for changes and goals realistic and use ‘baby steps.' Celebrate their individuality and tell them what makes them special. Assure them that they are loved and safe.


"How to Set Goals with Your Child"

Submitted By: Lorraine Pursell

You've probably set your New Year's resolutions by now, but what about your kids? In case you're at a loss for what to do beyond ‘What do you want to do this year?' I have 6 key questions for you to ask your child, in sequential order, so they'll feel smart and capable. I suggest you write down what they say, so they'll feel all the more important. This whole exercise should increase your connection together.

Question 1- "What did you like about last year? What went well for you?" I invite you to be silent while the wheels turn in their head. Give them plenty of time and only minimal hints from you. Remember, these are their goals -you probably don't like people giving you suggestions for your goals. You're encouraging your child's confidence and capability, so just be supportive of what they say.

Importantly, question 1 is framed in the positive; we're building their strong sense of self. Even if they're two and they say they like their dinosaurs or if they're five and they say the same thing, just nod your head and smile while writing their answer. If they're in elementary school, they may say they liked their friends and in Jr. High that they liked how well they worked on their algebra. In High School and beyond, you'll probably need to participate in setting your goals with them so they don't feel self-conscious. They can be secretary for you if they want.

Question 2- "What would you like to improve this year?" Again, this is framed in the positive. We're suggesting that they did well, and asking what they'd like to add some final touches or tweaks to. This is a good question to ask yourself. As you are gentle with yourself, your child will learn to be gentle with and to like herself. Maybe they want to get their homework bag by the front door, or even in the backseat of the car the night before and you'd like to get 5 easy dinners lined up each Sunday for the week ahead.

As you do this together, it's an opportunity to be closer and for them to see your vulnerable side, which will invite their vulnerable side to show.

Question 3- "How would you like to change your grades this year?" They may say they want to raise that D in biology, but maybe they don't care about their grades. They could be content with their grades as they are, and you can deal with that issue at another time. But for now, just write what they say.

Your parallel to their grades in school is your performance at work. How would YOU like to change your ‘grades' this year. As you show that you have room to improve, you'll inspire their honesty and enthusiasm to do better.

Question 4- Now that they've told you what they want to improve, ask them "How can I support you to do that?" If they want to get better grades this year ask "How can I help you make that happen?" Maybe you create a nice homework environment for them: quiet, well-lit space with everything they need. Do your homework with them: be at the table doing your stuff while they're doing their stuff. Just your being nearby will be comforting to them. And if they have a question, you're right there to help out! They're well on their way if you support them.

Question 5- This is a personal question so be sensitive how you say it. "How would you like to personally grow this year?" If they don't have an answer or don't know what they can improve on, then you chime in with "Well, you know, I think I'd really like to improve on xyz this year." You might say that you'd like to be more patient with them this year or that you'd like to be a better listener. Imagine how you'd feel if your parent said that to you!

Maybe they'd like to broaden their friend base and wean away from the snotty kids into the more intellectuals. Would they like to be more generous or help out more? Would they like to help their teacher out somehow? Would they like to clean up the park?

Question 6- "What new adventure would you like to explore this year?" Would they like to learn about horses? Would they like to earn money? They could start a neighborhood animal care business with your help. Maybe they'd like to overcome their fear of animals or of tests. Would they like to take up art? Life is so new and exciting- what new adventures would they like to go on?

As a bonus, maybe you could explore a new adventure together. My son and I went for a sky dive before he left for the Marines. It was a memory we'll never forget! What bonding experience could you do together or as a family?

I hope this has been helpful. I share all of this with you just to inspire and encourage your own great ideas. Go with it and let your love and respect for your child ooze from your pores while you show them that they can share their heart with you and you will accept it.
THIS lays the greatest foundation of all for raising a responsible child who will love you for life!

Lorraine Pursell, MA, BCET serves kids, parents and families. Since 1995, she's helped hundreds restore self-esteem and achieve closer, lasting relationships in her clinic, private practice and workshops. Email Lorraine! Tell her what's working for you and what's not:
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2013 Holidays



Ringing in the New Year

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Birthday_PartyBlowers.jpgThe countdown to 2009 is on and Coast Kids is here to help you ring it in with style. Whether you want to celebrate with the kids, with friends or as a couple, there are so many ways to make it a fun and memorable night.

Countdown With The Kids
Plan a night with the kids or invite another family to share in the festivities together...these ideas will keep the whole family entertained!


  • 10--Make a list of 10 things to do as a family in 2009...include: places, foods, activities and organizations you have never tried before.
  • 9-- Let the kids stay up all the way to midnight...make homemade pizzas (try Trader Joes pre-made dough cooked on a pizza stone in the BBQ), serve sparkling apple juice in champagne flutes, toss streamers, pull poppers, and blow party horns at midnight.
  • 8--Go to Disneyland or your favorite amusement park!
  • 7-Pop popcorn the old fashioned way (2 Tbsp oil in a pan with a lid and one cup of kernels) and watch a movie marathon of your favorite movies in a series: Harry Potter, Star Wars, Toy Story, Indiana Jones, etc.
  • 6-Reminisce about 2008 by having the family help organize the year's photos into a scrapbook. Or, if you're already up-to-date, enjoy looking though all the past years' scrapbooks and watching old home videos to relive the great times you've had as you look forward to 2009.
  •  5--Stay overnight in a hotel and order room service.
  • 4--Make countdown chains...cut paper strips, decorate each with a question and staple into a paper chain. Cut off one chain every half hour and ask the family to answer the question (such as: (favorite trip that year, favorite school memory, favorite movie, and so on)
  • 3--Take the train down to San Diego, spend the day, and ride back at night.
  • 2--Have a game night...each member of the family picks a game to be played during the evening.
  • 1--Do your friends a favor...invite your kids' friends for a sleepover!


Got a Sitter...Whoo Hoo!
New Year's Eve without the little ones offers so many opportunities for a night out on the town, it's hard to choose.

  • 10--Go dancing...whether you like 80's flashback or ballroom, dance the night away.
  • 9--Enjoy a multi course dinner...many of your favorite restaurants offer special New Year's Eve dinner packages, but book early...they often fill up fast!
  • 8--Go to Disneyland...but with all your favorite rides!
  • 7--Get out of town...go overnight to Palm Springs, San Diego, LA, Santa Barbara or Lake Arrowhead.
  • 6--Host an EZ Party...invite friends to each come with an appetizer and favorite cocktail to share...there is sure to be enough to eat and drink all night! Need an EZ sitter solution: Hire a sitter (or two) to take care of all the kids together at one house!
  • 5--Catch a movie...Oscar nominations are around the corner, so New Year's Eve always has a great selection playing.
  • 4--Relax and start the new year fresh with a couple's massage and spa treatment.
  • 3-Plan something last minute...visit and pick one of their many suggestions for the latest happenings in Orange County.
  • 2-Pick a decade-theme with friends and: dress 80's and go roller-skating, dress 50's and go bowling, dress 20's and go to a mystery dinner theater, or dress 70's and hit the disco.
  • 1-Enjoy a progressive dinner...go to a different restaurant for each course of your meal...or, a drink and appetizer at each one (be sure to have a designated driver and don't forget to stop for dessert and coffee, too!)

Best of Both
Celebrate the New Year with the kids along with New York at 9:00pm PST and put them to bed. Then, enjoy cooking a late night adult dinner with a glass of champagne and candles. Or, even easier, snuggle together on the couch with a great movie and carton of ice cream with two spoons.


By Alli Goedecke, author of One Fun Thing, Reprinted from Coast Kids Magazine,Winter 2008, copyright 2008 Freedom Communications.

New Year's Resolutions

Family New Year's Resolutions Ideas

Modified from the American Academy of Pediatrics, 1/08

* Plan a family trip.
* Work on a family project together.
* Eat dinner together one day or more a week and turn off TV.
* Have a regular date night with your spouse.
* Create an e-mail list to keep in touch with extended family and friends regularly. Kids can help email notes.
* Connect with other families. Reach out to a neighborhood family that you don't know well and commit to getting to know them better.
* Give to others through community service and volunteerism.


--Resolutions for Kids--

* I will clean up my toys.
* I will brush my teeth twice a day, and wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.

Kids, 5- to 12-years-old
* I will drink milk and water, and limit soda and fruit drinks.
* I will apply sunscreen before I go outdoors.
* I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity that I like and do it at least three times a week!
* I will always wear a helmet when bicycling.
* I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car.
* I'll be nice to other kids. I'll be friendly to kids who need friends - like someone who is shy, or is new to my school.

Kids, 13-years-old and up
* I will take care of my body with physical activity & nutrition.
* I will choose non-violent television shows and video games, and I will spend only 1-2 hours each day on these activities.
* I will help out in my community - through volunteering, working with community groups or by joining a group that helps people.
* I will wipe negative "self talk" (i.e. "I can't do it" or "I'm so dumb") out of my vocabulary.
* When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find constructive ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or discussing my problem with a parent or friend.
* When faced with a difficult decision, I will talk with an adult about my choices.
* I will resist peer pressure to try drugs and alcohol.


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