10 New Year's Resolutions for Dads (and Kids)

New Year's is a time of renewal, redemption and a relatively lengthy list of resolutions that, after the ball drops, will be kept for at least 27 minutes. I find it's always smart to set attainable goals, like "Make a List of Resolutions." (NAILED IT!) It's also important to recognize what you didn't accomplish from last year's list (I didn't finish writing my book), just as much as it is to recognize what you did accomplish from your list (I grew my first glorious mustache).

While these goals are nice, none are as important as the ones every Dad sets for becoming a better parent. I'm the first to admit that Dads aren't perfect. Sure, we’re as close as you can humanly get to it, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few areas that could use a little refurbishing. Of course, if I'm working hard to better myself, I also ask that the kids do the same. So Ella, Anna and I sat down and hammered out our annual list of 10 New Years Resolutions for Dads and Kids. They are as follows:

They promised to stop leaving toys all over the living room floor for me to step on.
I promised to stop bleeding all over their toys.

They promised to stop picking their noses.
I promised to stop picking their noses.

They promised to start using forks when they eat.
I promised to let them have sword fights with the forks.

They promised to stop using their shirts as napkins (even when mom isn't looking).
I promised to actually give them napkins (even when mom isn't looking).

They promised to stop hiding the remote.
I promised to stop hiding the bag of lollipops.

They promised to give me a little bit more alone time when I'm in the bathroom.
I promised to occasionally wear pants when we have company.

They promised to stop eating the Christmas decorations. 
I promised to leave the Christmas decorations up year-round1

They promised to expand their iTunes playlist beyond "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," Annie's "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow" and Taio Cruz's "Dynamite."
I promised to stop listening to Joey Lawrence.

They (Anna) promised to learn to use the potty.
I promised to be patient with that process and not get upset when the potty isn't the only thing she pees on.

They (Ella) promised to actually eat her dinner instead of spending an hour staring at herself in the dining room mirror.
I promised to let her pick our dinner menu a little more often—and to stop spending an hour looking at myself in the dining room mirror.

And finally, the most important resolution that was made for the coming year:

They promised to love the new baby with all their heart when he or she arrives.
I promised to continue to love them with all my heart when the new baby arrives.

While I'm terrible at keeping my own personal resolutions, there is one I've kept. It's one Ella and I made on her very first New Year's celebration (and very first list of New Year's resolutions). We promised to wake up with a smile each and every day. And I'm proud to say, 3 years later, we still stick to that promise. Anna too. And my wife…well, she's not much of a morning person, but I'm sure she's smiling somewhere under that thick layer of "Seriously, it's 7:15 in the morning, stop singing 'Dynamite.'"

Have a wonderful New Year, everyone! I'd love to hear what New Year's Resolutions you make with your kids (even if this is the first time you do it). Leave it in the comments section. And, as my friend Evan Dawson recently said to me, "How do I know next year will rock? Because it goes to 11."

We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite.

1No, my dear wife, this isn't my way of getting out of taking down the Christmas decorations. It's my clever way of getting out of taking down the Christmas decorations. There's a difference.2
2I've been told there is no difference.3
3I've also been told I get to sleep on the couch for the duration of this resolution.

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