5 Resolutions every parent needs to make for 2014

I am not big for resolutions because honestly, they just set us up for failure but I am all for revolution, change--big loud change that blows the roof off of the status quo is my specialty. I will move mountains to be the best mother I can be to my children.

It's not always about giving them the things they want. It's about giving them what they need and plenty of unconditional love and understanding. It's about building small people up into self-confident, self-loving, compassionate human beings. It's all about the small moments. That is where you have your chance to change their world and yours.

Here are four "resolutions" that I think every parent should resolve to achieve in 2014.

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Listen more. I spend a lot of time talking at my children and half-listening. You know what I mean, that type of listening we do when our little ones are babbling on and we are trying to read a text, make dinner or plan world domination. It feels like whatever they have to say can wait ... but it can't. Stop what you are doing for 10 seconds and let them tell you. It may seem inconsequential to you, but it may mean everything to them. You are teaching them that dialogue is open and that you care and listen to what they say. You are teaching them that they matter. Stop what you are doing and listen.

Yell less: I half-listen and--big surprise!--so do my girls, so I yell a lot. I don't want to do that anymore. I don't want their childhood to be one giant screaming match of frustration and fear. I want my words to be kind and thoughtful. I don't want to look back with regret.

Love always: We love our children all the time, even when we might not particularly like them. Tell them. Show them. Hug them daily. Kiss them goodnight and goodbye. Let them know that there is nothing that they can ever do to make you leave them or love them any less than completely.

Take time to breathe and enjoy the small moments. Stop. Be still. Listen to the beauty of children giggling uncontrollably at the silliest of silly things. Hold their hand. Watch them sleep. Catch them being kind to their little siblings. Tell them how wonderful they are. Be specific. Drink it all in because it won't last forever.

Make yourself a priority: Care for yourself. Love yourself. Take time to make yourself a priority. Little eyes are watching you to see, to learn, how to treat themselves. I don't want to teach my daughters that martyrdom and self-sacrifice is the only way to be a good mother. I want them to see that its okay to work, to have outside interests, to pursue passions and it doesn't make them less of a parent; it makes them better.

Maybe you are already doing all of these but I needed the reminder so these are my parenting resolutions for 2014.

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Topics: advice  family  parenting