A new year can bring about many changes as we look forward to what the year may hold. It may include things such as a new job, new classes at school, new baby, new family members through marriage, etc. And the list can go on.
New Year’s Eve is a night set aside for gathering as family and friends to ring in the new year. Many times, our New Year’s Eve celebrations consist of adults gathering to celebrate the coming of the new year. As we wrap up 2021, reflect on what the year has brought. There may have been challenges, new growth as well as a new perspective brought in. As a family find ways to celebrate what 2021 has been and even mourn for the things that were lost. In addition, be mindful of safety and ensure children feel comfortable and safe.
- Spend time reflecting on the past year
Remember the past, both the things that were not so good, but also those things that brought joy, happiness, and encouragement. Find some type of container-jar, basket, envelope- and write down these remembrances.
- Look to the future
As a family, begin to creatively think about what you want the new year to look like. Plan new adventures such as starting school, a family camping trip, taking up a new sport, or adding a family pet. Some of these new adventures may take courage. Some may bring excitement and anticipation. As a family you can acknowledge those emotions that may come with the new adventure. Talk through those. Encourage each other to embrace each new encounter with openness and expectation on how each one can build character, strength, and so much more.
- Throughout the coming year
Encourage each other to share stories about excursions. Share the ups and downs of emotions that surrounded those times. Listening to each others’ stories can bring some natural bonding through the stories. Through sharing you will find empathy and appreciation for each others’ experiences.
- Keep safety a must
Our children’s safety should always be at the top of our list. We need to ensure children feel safe at our celebration gatherings. Have conversations with guests about boundaries and body safety rules. Have body safety conversations with your children. Make sure your children know what boundaries should be set. For example, no one should touch where a bathing suit covers, or a child can simply state I do not want to be hugged, kissed, or tickled. You can visit our website at www.CACFayNC.org to find books about body safety that you an read with your children.
As you plan your celebration, look for new ways of reminiscing about the leaving year and ways to look forward to the new year approaching. All at the same time of ensuring children are safe during these gatherings.
New Year’s can be a wonderful time of reflection and celebration. New traditions can be a part of the celebration. Wishing you the very best of what 2022 has to offer.
Prevention and Volunteer Coordinator
Child Advocacy Center Fayetteville, NC