And so it begins, another year and an opportunity to reflect on ways you wish to conduct your life. Whether your intentions are a direct result of poor habits formed in 2017, or inspiration from outside sources, it’s the perfect time to put some goals and boundaries in place to begin your year on a positive note.

As a parent of young children myself, I can see how easy it is to slide into destructive routines when I’m tired – even when I know that there will be repercussions for my ‘laziness’ (ie. too much screen time or junk food). My thoughts easily turn to ‘I’ll deal with it later’ for a moment of peace and quiet!

Being aware of these downfalls is powerful. Recognizing how tempting it is to take the easy road gives us power to put a few things into place to avoid regret further down the track.

Here are 3 things to avoid if you are anticipating a smooth start to the year.

Leaving things to chance. By this I mean floating along and just hoping that your kids will keep their room tidy, complete their chores, get ready in the morning, eat their meals… the list goes on! Even the most organised of children need some guidelines of what is expected when it comes to daily routines. I strongly believe in having a family meeting to problem solve the expectations for each person in your house. This is going to look different for everyone – there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to the running of a household. It is much more effective to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to your expectations around the house. Leaving things to chance leads to massive disappointment!

Excessive screen time. This is not just for the kids! As a self-confessed social media addict, I constantly have to create boundaries for myself and my children when it comes to technology. WHY? Because it is addictive and when myself or my children are in the land of the screen we return to communicating like cave men with grunts and groans! Absolutely, there is a place for technological resources in our world. However, make time for a conversation, set up boundaries and maintain balance in order to maintain relationships and communication with your children.

Over planning events. I say this, but do it EVERY YEAR. Tiredness is the enemy of parenting – for both us and our children. It is imperative to recognize the signs when you and your family are in desperate need of some R & R. It’s also important for children to learn how to keep themselves amused at home – creative play is important for our children’s social and creative development! So don’t be afraid to politely decline invitations, be true to yourself and what your family needs.

Wishing everyone a happy, productive and successful 2018! Remember to include time for yourself to recharge and unwind – you are no good to your children or family if you are exhausted and running on empty.