Four parenting resolutions for the new year

Written by JJ Campbell
Published on January 10, 2023

The more I talk and think about New Year’s resolutions, the more I see the divided camps. It seems like people either love them or want nothing to do with them. 

I fall into the positive camp, personally. 

To me, resolutions are about mindsets I want to have instead of goals to check off a list. I don’t need anything else on my to-do list, but I need to keep my mind and thoughts in check. 

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).

My overarching goal for this year (and every year) is to look more like Jesus. I want to learn from his life and ministry, relying on the Holy Spirit to guide me as I grow and enter new phases of parenting. 

With the number one goal of being more Christlike, I have four resolutions I want to work on when it comes to how I parent: 

1. Embrace all quality time opportunities. 

From what we know about Jesus’ life is that he spent time with people. He ate dinner in people’s homes (the story of Zaccheaus in Luke 19). He stopped and had conversations with people along the way (the woman at the well in John 4). He was never too busy for people. 

How this works in my parenting: When my family is together or I’m spending one-on-one time with my son, I want him to know he has my full attention. I’m not scrolling through social media or doing Wordle on my phone. He is only a toddler, but he knows when I’m not fully present with him. I also want to look for more ways to engage with him like when we’re in the car or grocery shopping. 

2. Be open to joy. 

Because Jesus was both fully God and fully man, he experienced all of the human emotions—joy being one of them. While the Bible never tells us what Jesus’ sense of humor was like or how Jesus had fun, I feel comfortable making the assumption Jesus enjoyed things. He went to weddings and events (John 2), welcomed children (Mark 10), and rejoiced with thanksgiving (Luke 10:21). 

How this works in my parenting: If I want to be more open to joy, then I have to look for it. This looks like taking opportunities for fun. Things like jumping in puddles, tossing rocks in the creek, and blowing bubbles with my son bring me so much joy! I don’t want to rush for the sake of being more productive. I want to do more things this year where the only expectation is to take our time and have fun together! 

3. Model the behavior you want to see. 

Jesus is the ultimate example of the way we should live our lives as Christ followers. We know he loved people with compassion, spoke truth with kindness, was patient, prayerful, and committed to God’s will. 

How this works in my parenting: Children learn from watching. My two-year-old surprises me every day with gestures and phrases and I think, “Where did you learn that?”  Then I realize he is copying me. I want to be mindful in the way that I not only speak to my son, but also to other people because he sees that too. As I am reflecting Christ in my life, he will see me as kind and gentle, serving others, and reading my Bible. 

4. Find a recurring activity to do as a family. 

During Jesus’ ministry on earth, he traveled from town to town to teach people. He was always with his group of disciples, often sharing meals together as it is written in the Bible. I can picture them all sitting around the table talking, laughing, and reflecting on the day’s events together. He even once washed the disciples’ feet in John 13—a huge deal in ancient Jewish culture. 

How this works in my parenting: I want to incorporate rhythms in my family where we routinely engage in activities together. Because my son is so little, that looks like playing together, reading him Bible stories, and eating a meal together at least once a day. As my son gets older and we (hopefully) have more children, I plan on expanding the things we do together. Things like reading the Bible together, training for a 5k, going kayaking, and serving at church together. Just some ideas!

My ultimate goal is sanctification and to look more like Jesus. These biblically-based resolutions will help me grow in my own faith journey while I raise and disciple my son. 

I am so excited about this year. I’m relying on God more than ever and all of the glory goes back to him. Will you join me in these parenting resolutions?

Consider a few extra resources:

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JJ Campbell

JJ Campbell is the host of the Along for the Ride Podcast, a weekly interactive show that helps you have more good times with your family while riding in the car together. These fun activities get everybody talking and laughing and before you know it, strengthening family bonds and making special memories. 

She’s always loved games and gets her best ideas for the show from childhood experiences and playing with her own baby boy, Evan. She says you can make any family experience enjoyable with some creativity and a fun mindset! 

You can find more about JJ and her podcast at Find her on Instagram @aftr_kidspodcast and say hi!

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