CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – New Year’s Eve is a great time to reflect with your kids. NJ Rongner, local blogger from a CookieBeforeDinner.com, shared some questions that will help give your family a chance to reflect about the year that is coming to an end.
Here are 10 reflection questions to answer with your children on New Years Eve.
When you work through these with your kids, remember there ages. The more specific question you ask, the easier it will be for them to answer them, especially if you’ve got little ones at home!
1. Who is your family? I love this question for so many reasons. It invites the child to really think about who is part of his/her family. For Malone, his concept of family extends beyond blood. If he were to answer this question, he’d rattle off several people as uncles who aren’t my brothers and several people as grandparents who are not my parents. His answer reflects the grown ups in his lives that he knows love him (and people that we spend a ton of time with).
2. Who is your best friend? This is a really telling question. For us, it has been interesting to see how it has changed for Malone through the years. For a few years, it was Frankie. Frankie and Malone spent a ton of time together at daycare. This year, I predict his answer will be Daddy.
3. What was your favorite thing we did as a family this year? For us, we took an unexpected trip to Florida when Mike’s grandmother’s health took a sudden turn for the worse. We made it in time to say goodbye and that trip really was one that brought us closer as a family. We drove straight through and all learned a bit about being a team and working together that week.
4. Can you pick out a word to describe 2014? This could be any word! At the start of each year, I pick a word that guides my overall year. In 2013 my word of the year was savor- to taste and enjoy completely. I picked it because we knew Lola was on her way and I wanted to really savor my time with Malone. In 2014, my word of the year was intentional- done by design. I picked that word because I wanted to be more mindful on doing things on purpose. I have a feeling that Malone will give a silly answer when he describes the year- but whatever he picks will be perfect!
5. What was the best part about our summer vacation? This question might be a bit broad for a little one, so feel free to coach your little ones on the answer. I’ll likely phrase the question like this “Hey Malone, remember when we took our trip this summer to Cape Cod? What was your favorite part of that week on the beach?”
6. Is there something we did this year that you think you’ll remember for the rest of your life? As a mom, I am the keeper of memories. If there is something from this year that Malone wants to remember for the rest of his life, I want to make sure it is on my radar so I can help him remember. From time to time, I’ll drop it into a conversation so it helps keep the memory fresh. “Hey Malone, remember that time you ran a 5k with daddy and you didn’t even have to stop once? That was such a great job!”
7. What is something that was hard for you at the beginning of the year, but is easy for you now? This will help “keep” some of the growing memories alive. An answer to this might be swim without a floatie, tie shoes, zip up my jacket. For an older child, this answer might be something like being good friend to Sasha or completing a chore.
8. What is your favorite thing to do with us? I likely know the answer to this one for Malone regarding both Mike and I. However, I love hearing his answers because if it is his favorite, we want to do more of that with him (as much as time and budget allows)!
9. What are the three most important things you learned this year? This is a great question for everyone to answer. Little ones might need a bit of prompting. We’ll use this question to help reinforce character qualities we’re trying to develop in Malone and to make sure that he knows it is important to never stop learning!
10. What did you love most about being in our family this year? I love asking this question because it really gives me a pulse on if my children’s core values are lining up with the core values I want them to have. For example- I’d much rather hear Malone say that he loves hiking and running with daddy rather than playing video games with him. Or, I’d rather him say that he loves reading with me rather than going to the movies.
If these answers aren’t what you expect it to be, don’t worry. You’re turning the corner on a brand new year and can always make a fresh start!