Column: Top 5 parenting resolutions for 2018

'Raising Prescott'

According to a recent survey completed by YouGov, nearly 70 percent of people aim to turn over a new leaf and set New Year’s resolutions for 2018.

The survey revealed that 37 percent of people wished to eat better, exercise more and spend less money in 2018. Nearly 24 percent hope to take better care of themselves by getting more sleep, 18 percent said they want to read more books and 15 percent want to learn a new skill.

Other notables were getting a new job (14 percent), make new friends (13 percent) and cut down on cigarettes or alcohol (9 percent).

All of the above seem like great ways to improve one’s self for 2018. Most of us can probably relate to the top three: eat better, exercise and spend less money.

I can dig it. But, what about us parents?

Obviously, of the 1,100-plus people polled by YouGov in December, some had to be parents, right? Surely some of them had a few ideas on what they’d like to accomplish as a parent in 2018.

If your head is starting to spin because too many New Year’s resolutions usually means nothing will be accomplished, you may be right, but let’s take a breath. How about we focus on just a few small resolutions to help us become better parents in 2018.

Here are my Top 5:

No. 5: Don’t drive under the influence of your phone

I saw this one on CNN’s “8 resolutions for better parenting in 2018” and thought it was brilliant. According to the article, more than 40,000 people died on U.S. roads in 2016. Many roadway fatalities involve drunken driving, speeding and not wearing seatbelts, but a reason that continues to skyrocket in our world is texting while driving.

More than 50 percent of teens reported seeing their parents checking their phones, using the internet or texting. STOP! And keep those babies safe!

No. 4: Yell less, breathe more

This resolution was also on the CNN story and worth mentioning. Dealing with frustration while raising kids is a daily struggle, and according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, yelling is the least productive way to manage it.

The research points out that kids whose parents yelled at them for discipline had increased behavioral issues, including being violent. Another study linked yelling to lowering a child’s self-esteem and increasing the likelihood of depression.

First, I’d like to point out that these “researchers” are college students who likely don’t have kids … but, I’ll still give this resolution a whirl because I’m guilty of this more than most.

No. 3: Put a cap on your work day

We all work hard, and in today’s world, to live a normal life and provide for a family, both parents must work. It’s unavoidable, unless one parent is a doctor, lawyer, or already wealthy due to inheritance.

The best way to accomplish a “cap” on the work day? Shut off the computer, put your cell phone in the bag so email isn’t checked and just focus on the family.

Whether it’s playing that new board game Santa brought for Christmas, reading together or watching a movie, let work go. It’s a mental health decision more than anything.

No. 2: Exercise together

Instead of always using sports for exercise, sneak a few non-competition related activities into the day. Bike rides, scavenger hunts and even kid-filled dance contests could be entertaining and fun for everyone.

No. 1: Patience, and more patience

I’m just as guilty as anyone else with not being patient with my children. Snapping at them and issuing ridiculous threats is never good. Breathe and remember the more patience you show with them, the more they’ll show in their own life with others.

Happy New Year everyone!

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier, the Prescott Valley Tribune and the Chino Valley Review. Follow him on Twitter at @SportsWriter52 or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email or call (928) 445-3333, ext. 1106.