Boy on top of hill

At the end of the year many of us will think, ‘Thank goodness that year was over. I can’t wait for 2019. I hope it will be a better year’. We remember the things that were tough and difficult for us. Possibly the sad moments and experiences we had. Every year of our lives there will be challenges and they will either make us stronger or they will change us in some way. We learn something new about ourselves and also about other people through the experiences we had over the past year. What we don’t tend to do is think ‘Wow. That year was great. I achieved x and y and I hope that next year will be even better’. So why do we dwell on the things that did not go well? Why don’t we recognise and celebrate achievements more?

I find that children tend to do the same. They focus on the things that did not go well for them.  They may have fallen out with friends or got lower grades than they expected during the year. They may have not got into the team they wanted to or they may have been in trouble at school. They may have found life stressful or challenging and at times felt overwhelmed.

Celebrate Achievements No Matter How Small

We don’t want our children to dwell or look back on the year in a negative way. We want them to appreciate that the outgoing year was good and some amazing things happened to them so how can we help children to focus on the positives of 2018 and celebrate achievements that they made. With a piece of paper and pen get your child to write down what went well. Things to consider are:

  1. What tricky situations did they overcome?
  2. What new friends did they make?
  3. How did they deal with a particular situation?
  4. How they grow in confidence/self-esteem?
  5. What new experiences did they have?
  6. What did they learn?
  7. What fun things did they get to do as a family?

Help them to recognise their achievements for the year so they can end it on a high and feel positive about a new year. There are always high and low points in everyone’s lives. Let’s help children focus on their highs and achievements.