5 New Year's Resolutions for Parents

Parents can be a defining factor in their child’s academic success, and the New Year is a great time to reflect on your habits. Checking in regularly with your student, celebrating their successes, and encouraging independence are just a few resolutions to consider setting in 2019. Keep reading to learn five New Year’s resolutions for parents.

New Year’s resolution #1: set clear expectations and deadlines

No matter their age, most students flourish with structure. Ensure that you’re using clear and defined language when communicating expectations and deadlines to your child. For example:

  • For younger students, establish a rule like, “Homework must be completed before screen time.”

  • For older students, communicate clear expectations for grades, such as, “Your GPA must remain above a 3.0.”

[RELATED: How Parents Can Help Students Set—and Achieve—Academic Goals]

New Year’s resolution #2: check in regularly

Students also benefit from accountability. A daily check-in on homework and upcoming tests and projects is a great way to touch base with your child about schoolwork. Remind them of critical times, such as the end of a marking period. While older students may grumble, these check-ins are essential reminders and are helpful for keeping students on track. Additionally, winter break is a great time to check in with your children regarding their academic goals. Have an honest conversation about what’s going well and what can be improved. Ask your older students what you can do to better support them in 2019.

[RELATED: How Parents Can Help with Elementary Homework Challenges]

New Year’s resolution #3: celebrate your child’s successes

Parents are often the reinforcers who ensure their children complete their work. However, parents also have the chance to truly celebrate their students’ successes. These celebrations are just as important as the reminders. Celebrations can be small things, such as positive words of encouragement, letting them choose the music on the way to school, or ice cream on a Friday night.

New Year’s resolution #4: help your child be more proactive before stepping in

Often, parents want to step in at the first sign of something going wrong for their children. By doing that, however, children lose crucial opportunities to navigate conflict and advocate for themselves. Support your child by giving them strategies to be more proactive. For example, if they don’t understand the homework, encourage them to ask a friend. If they received less than stellar feedback on an essay, prompt them to set up a lunch meeting with their teacher to see how they can improve. Learning these skills now will serve them well in college and beyond.

[RELATED: 4 Ways Parents Can Help High School Students Succeed]

New Year’s resolution #5: set a good example

All of these strategies are great, but if you’re not truly implementing them, they will ring hollow for your very perceptive children. If you’re encouraging your child to utilize good work habits, be sure to model these yourself. For example, running around the house before you leave for the day makes it difficult for your child to not do that as well. Perhaps you can both set out everything you need for the day the night before to ensure a calmer start to the day. Another idea might be to model task lists and calendar tracking. Your child will notice you making a to-do list for important projects and logging appointments on your calendar. That example may inspire them to do the same.


Any topics you want to know more about? Let us know! The Varsity Tutors Blog editors love hearing your feedback and opinions. Feel free to email us at blog@varsitytutors.com.