New Year’s Resolutions for Family Health and Well-Being

January 1st, 2013 | Posted by Cynthia Manley in Child development | Health | Parenting

Cynthia Manley, new year, resolution, nutrition, health, Vanderbilt, texting and driving,

The new year has begun, and folks all over the world are setting goals to be healthier, wealthier and wiser in 2012 than they were in 2013.

We asked a few of the doctors at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital what resolutions they would like to see families adopt for better health and well-being. Here are 10 of their suggestions:

  • Make good nutrition, exercise and healthy weight management a family priority.
  • Have as many meals together as possible. Research suggests families who eat together several times a week have better nutrition overall and those children do better in school and participate less in risky behavior.
  • Make your home free from body-based teasing or commentary. This includes adults’ comments about their own bodies (my hips are too wide)
  • Never use the phone or text while driving and make sure your teen drivers know not to do so either.
  • Add a backup camera to your vehicle and make sure any new car is equipped with one.
  • Make sure everyone in the family is up to date on all recommended vaccinations, including annual flu vacines.
  • Be honest even when the truth is hard and create a family environment that rewards honesty even if the truth is upsetting.
  • Don’t put off those conversations you know you should have with your child just because they make you squirm. Talking with children about dangerous or risky behavior – in age appropriate ways – can help keep them well, safe and out of the hospital.
  • Talk with your children about their emotions and help them develop coping skills.
  • Listen and talk to your children everyday to see how they are doing.

What will your family do in 2013 to improve health and well-being?

Offering resolution ideas were Drs. Corey Slovis and Thomas Abramo, emergency medicine; Todd Callahan, adolescent medicine; Jim Jirjis, primary care; Catherine Fuchs, adolescent psychiatry; Debra Friedman, oncology; Nathalie Maitre, neonatology; Dan Moore, endocrinology; Rachel Mace, general pediatrics; and Kathryn Edwards, infectious disease.


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