Tuesday, December 03, 2002

I resolve to make no resolutions

Do your children make New Year's resolutions? If you'd like them to, and you'd like them to say something other than, "I will lie around the house and be lazy. Every day, I will make my mom crazy," the American Academy of Pediatrics is offering 20 Healthy New Year's Resolutions for Kids that should last your little ones at least as long as the healthy New Year's resolutions you make for yourself. Some of them are actually pretty likely to last longer than that -- certainly "I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car" will be pretty hard to slip up on since it's the law in many states, though most parents would probably prefer to add "without whining, complaining, or stalling" to the end of it. But I'm guessing items like "I will keep myself, and the places where I live and play, clean," on the list of resolutions for toddlers; "I will spend a couple of minutes every morning and afternoon applying sunscreen before I go outdoors" on the school-age kids list; and "I will eat at least one fruit and one vegetable every day, and I will limit the amount of soda I drink" for teens are mostly parent and pediatrician pipe dreams. And there's one school-age resolution that I find downright worrisome: "I will always ASK if there's a gun in the homes where I play." Do we really want our kids to be asking if there's a gun around? Wouldn't this encourage their playmate to go and get it? Personally, given the violence of the world today, I'd like my children to resolve never to go anywhere, do anything, or talk to anyone. That wouldn't exactly be a healthy resolution for any of us, but at least we wouldn't have to worry about seatbelts and sunscreen.

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