New Year's Resolutions for Strong Families

2:19 PM, Jan 2, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.--  The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on what went well for your family this past year and what could be even better going forward. It's a great time to make resolutions that will keep your family strong and thriving. But it's important to start with knowledge about the qualities that define strong families. And it's important to know what kinds of resolutions you are most likely to keep!

This morning, Dr. Marti Erickson, developmental psychologist and co-host of, stopped by with some tips on how to get started.

Twin Cities-based Search Institute has done research that identifies the most important assets of strong, thriving families. This "Family Assets Framework" is a helpful guide to help us reflect on how we are doing as a family and what we would like to improve.

• Nurturing relationships
• Establishing predictable routines
• Maintaining clear expectations
• Adapting to challenges
• Connecting to your community

Dr. Marti suggests the following to make and keep resolutions that will strengthen these assets in our families.

1. Make them specific, measurable and attainable.
Family game night every Sunday, 6 - 8 pm; 2 unplugged dinners a week; pack backpacks and lay clothes out right after dinner every school night; do a family volunteer project once a month 

2. Tell them to others who will support you.
Talk with other parents in your neighborhood, school or faith community about what you are doing, sharing challenges and success stories. 

3. Monitor your progress frequently and adjust goals as needed.
Keep track of each resolution on a calendar or a chart; have a family meeting to examine what's working and what's not; decide together if resolutions need to be modified.

4. Build in rewards.
Plan a special activity or a favorite treat at regular intervals to celebrate your success.

For more ideas and parenting suggestions, visit

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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