By Carolyn Tomlin
Contributing Columnist, B&R
According to the Gregorian calendar, January is the first month of the new year. Named for Janus, the Roman god of gates and doorways, the image is depicted with two faces, one looking forward and one back.
In celebrating the beginning of a new year, parents have an opportunity to reflect on the past and more importantly, forward to the coming months. It’s a time to reflect on changes for your family and to resolve to follow through on those changes. Did these resolutions make your list?
- Resolve to make Jesus the central figure in your home. Teach children that Jesus is their friend. Become regular in attendance as a family in a local church. Develop friendships within the congregation. Psalms 107:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Spend more time with family and friends. A recent poll conducted by General Nutrition Centers shows that 50 percent of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends during the next 12 months.
- Make health a top priority. Recent studies indicate that two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. In children, it’s one-in-three. Regular exercise reduces the risk of some illnesses, increases longevity, aids in sleep, reduces blood pressure, enhances mood and maintains weight loss. The cost? It’s free. Make exercise and a nutritious diet part of your healthy family routine this coming year.
- Live life to the fullest. Some people are old at 30 years; others never seem to age. Why? Age is irrelevant — it’s all in attitude. People who see their glass half-full instead of half-empty realize the value of life.
- Develop a spirit of volunteerism. Children, who grow up in homes where parents are active volunteers, tend to follow this pattern as adults. Check with your church and local non-profits for ways your family can volunteer.
- Control spending. Resolve to teach your child the value of money this year. Establish a system of saving a percentage, tithing a portion and using some for a special purchase or event.
- Learn a new skill or hobby. Never stop learning — make it a lifetime adventure. Can your child teach a friend this skill?
- Set an example of reading. Mark Twain said, “The person who does not read is like the person who cannot read.” Parents who set an example by reading the newspaper, books for information and books for pleasure show their children the value of literature. Educators suggest that books on each child’s developmental age be available throughout the home. Using a public library, help your child check out books on their personal interests. Also, pack each child a book bag for car trips — even those short ones in your community.
Throughout the coming year, continue those things that make your family strong and add new ones that will keep your family healthy, happy and in fellowship with God.
— Tomlin, of Jackson, writes for numerous publications Email: firstname.lastname@example.org