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Better Grades, Less Time on Phones: Poll Shows Kids', Parents' Resolutions for 2024
  • Posted December 18, 2023

Better Grades, Less Time on Phones: Poll Shows Kids', Parents' Resolutions for 2024

More patience. Less time on phones. Healthier habits. Better grades.

Parents and kids alike are making resolutions for the New Year, setting personal goals for themselves in 2024, a new poll has found.

Nearly three in four parents say they will adopt a resolution or personal goal in the coming year, and over half say their tween or teen child will do the same, according to the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.

“Taking steps to encourage goal-setting is a great way for parents to show their support and confidence in their child,” said Mott Poll co-director Sarah Clark.

Nearly half of mothers and a third of fathers say they've made goals to improve their parenting, the poll found.

Of those, more than thee in four want to exercise more patience and more than half want to spend less time on their phone.

About three-quarters of those who set parenting goals said they feel these resolutions make them better parents, and even more believe it's set a good example for their child regarding personal goals.

“Setting goals to improve parenting can help parents define their values and priorities and have positive effects on the health and well-being of the whole family,” Clark said.

Parents with a very full house of three or more children also are more likely to set goals related to consistency in discipline and family involvement in spiritual activities, compared to parents with fewer children, the poll found.

Some parents also set health-related goals. About half said they want to provide healthier meals and snacks for their families, and more than a third plan to exercise with their kid.

“Our poll suggests that parents often focus on areas they'd like to improve in their parenting approach, including being more engaged, focusing on their own and their child's health, and supporting their child's connection to the broader community,” Clark said.

Children between 11 and 18 are very focused on school when it comes to their resolutions. Nearly seven out of 10 resolutions by children are related to grades and school performance, the poll found.

A little more than half of kids want to succeed at a specific activity and more than a third want to try something new, results show.

Roughly two in five are focused on eating right and exercising, and the same proportion is interested in earning money.

Parents say teens ages 15 to 18 tend to set goals around exercise and nutrition, while tweens ages 11 to 14 are more interested in exploring something new.

“Goal-setting helps kids learn to be accountable for their actions and develop a growth mindset,” Clark said. “Parents modeling goal-setting can also teach kids the importance of working toward something and learning from mistakes along the way.”

However, parents differ in the ways they support kids in achieving their resolutions.

Most say they celebrate their child setting a goal, and more than half join their child on working toward their goal. Others help track their kids' progress, provide financial support or offer a reward for achieving their goal.

Parents might want to help their kids by highlighting specific strategies that will help them reach their goal, Clark said.

“We all know how commonly people set New Year resolutions that fade as the year goes on,” Clark said. “If families are serious about sticking to resolutions, it's essential to set specific and realistic targets and schedule time to take necessary steps to reach them.”

More information

Harvard Business School has more about New Year's resolutions.

SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, Dec. 18, 2024

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