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Realistic Resolutions

31 Parenting Resolutions to Transform Your Child, Your Family, Yourself

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There's no time like the beginning of a new year to look at the things you're less than happy about in your life and resolve to do better. Here's one realistic resolution for every day in January -- or any month you want to give your life a little kickstart -- along with the solid information and support you need to help you make your resolutions a reality.

1. "I Will Set Get-able Goals"

Cover image courtesy of Brookes Publishing Co.
Planning out small, attainable goals is a great way to set your child up for success, and it's a good idea when planning New Year's resolutions for yourself, too. These articles and resources can put you in the right frame of mind for pursuing your dreams for your child and your family in small, manageable steps.
Setting Attainable Goals
Book Review: Steps to Independence
Finding Happiness in Your Child
Before You Go to the Mall With Your Child
Teach Your Child to Succeed

2. "I Will Read With My Child Every Day"

Cover image courtesy of PriceGrabber
Reading is one of the greatest challenges for children with learning disabilities, and getting a reluctant reader to sit down with a book is one of the greatest challenges for their parents. These articles and resources can give you tips on what and how to read to help your child see books as something other than the enemy.
Starting a Reading Routine
Book Review: Mosaic of Thought
Book Review: Great Books About Things Kids Love
Book Review: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
If Your Child Hates Harry Potter

3. "I Will Find a Good Support Group"

Image © Terri Mauro
No one quite knows like another parent of special-needs children what you deal with on a daily basis and how you struggle with hopes and fears and the daily realities of your child's disability. Finding a support group, whether in your community or online, can open a world of advice and understanding to help get you through. These articles and resources will help you find the right group for you, or give you a little support right now.
Finding a Support Group
First Five Things to Do
Love Notes for Special Parents
Parenting Special Needs Forum
Reactive Attachment Disorder Forum

4. "I Will Give Myself a Time-Out When Needed"

Cover image courtesy of Howard Glasser
When your child pushes your buttons, sometimes the best strategy is to give yourself a time-out, retreat and regroup. These articles and resources will help you give yourself the cooling-off period you need, and introduce you to some parenting books that can give you a better handle on your child's behavior.
How to Give Yourself a Time-Out
Book Review: Transforming the Difficult Child
Book Review: The Challenging Child
Book Review: Raising Your Spirited Child
Book Review: Building a Joyful Life With Your Child Who Has Special Needs

5. "I Will Worry More Constructively"

Cover image courtesy of L. Mark Russell
Worrying can be constructive — if it leads you to creative solutions and strategies, and gets you moving to pursue them — or destructive — if it leads you to fruitless obsession and despair, and leaves you laying in the dark with knots in your stomach. These articles and resources will help you use worry as a force for good, and avoid passing it on to the next generation.
How to Worry More Constructively
After the Diagnosis
Stop School Behavior Problems (Even Before They Start)
Book Review: Planning for the Future
Book Review: The Anxiety Cure for Kids

6. "I Will Reevaluate My Child's Therapy Frequently"

Cover image courtesy of Debbie Feit
Do you ever feel like shuttling your child to therapy is becoming a full-time job? Maybe it's time to reevaluate your child's therapy needs, make sure you're happy with what he's getting and how he's getting it, and see if there are things you could do at home instead of spending so much time on the road. These articles and resources will help you assess your child's therapy, and provide some of your own.
Do a Therapy Check-up
Before You Pick a Therapist
Working With an Occupational Therapist
Book Review: The Parent's Guide to Speech and Language Problems
• Glossary: Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy

7. "I Will Keep a Contact Log"

Cover image courtesy of the Sladek/Ruffman Publishing Company
Keeping a contact log is important no matter which professional you're talking to -- doctors, specialist, therapists -- but perhaps never more so than when you're talking with educators and special education administrators about your child's special needs. You'll want a record of what has been promised or denied as you move through the process of getting an IEP and enforcing it. These articles and resources can help you understand that process, and take a bigger role in it.
How to Keep a Contact Log
Book Review: Now What Do We Do?
Take Periodic Videos
How to Report an IEP Violation
Frequently Asked Questions about IEPs

8. "I Will Keep a Daily Journal"

Cover image courtesy of Better Endings, New Beginnings.
Recording your thoughts and experiences is one of the most empowering and stress-reducing things you can do as a parent of a child with special needs. It's also one of the hardest things to find time and energy for. If you've wanted to keep a journal but never followed through, here are five ideas for finding the right format for you, and five sources of inspiration from parents who have shared their family's stories in print.
Five Journal Ideas You Can Really Keep Up With
Book Review: Tiny Titan
Book Review: Not Even Wrong
Book Review: Alex: The Fathering of a Preemie
Book Review: Will's Choice
Book Review: Little People

9. "I Will Exercise With My Child"

Cover image courtesy of PriceGrabber
Exercise is always a popular topic for a resolution, but with weight-gain becoming an increasing problem for children, planning more workouts for your wee ones may be a good plan, too.These articles and resources will show you why, how, and with what to get your child moving.
Ten Ways to Work Out with Your Child
Book Review: Diabesity
Book Review: The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun
Book Review: Integrated Yoga
Special-Needs Swim Gear

10. "I Won't Let Toxic People Hurt Me"

Cover image courtesy of Brookes Publishing Co.
The relative who criticizes your parenting. The teacher who hates your child. The doctor who makes you feel stupid. The stranger who glares when your child acts up. The world is full of people who should carry a warning label due to their poisonous effects on your mind and your heart. You may not be able to change those toxic people, but you can change your reaction to them. These articles and resources will empower you to defend rights, evade slights, and make sure you're not part of the problem.
Dealing with Toxic People
Special-Needs Children and Special Occasions
How to Protest a Grade
Books on Disability Rights
Self-Esteem Boosters
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