Family Resolutions: Finding Support at Home

A family of two young kids and their parents has a family meeting over breakfast and taking notes in their electronic devices.It’s a new year and everyone makes resolutions. Most resolutions are about weight loss, working out more, spending less among other things. Some resolutions stick and others do not. Most of these resolutions are individual, but what about making family resolutions?

Family resolutions are similar, with the intent to resolve a particular concern or issue. Family resolutions involve everyone giving their input about how they want to get a long better, such as following through with chores, supporting one another, having regular family meetings, or other ideas that the family can come up with.

When resolutions are shared it helps them to stick. People can influence one individual to stay on top of what he or she has resolved to do. Families can stick together not by nagging, but in a supportive way.

Parents may need to oversee that the new resolutions are working. If they are not, then another meeting may be called to review how the resolution can be altered to work better. This will, again, help the family members give their input on where changes can be made, what has helped, or what does not help. If the resolution needs to be altered then a consensus can be reached. Each person should feel listened to and have a voice in the decision-making process. When a decision is made then everyone understands how the particular resolution will be followed through.

© Copyright 2011 by Kelly Sanders, MFT, therapist in Rancho Cucamonga, California. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • pamela


    January 5th, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    Funny enough I sat down with my son and husband this very evening to draft a New Year set of resolutions that we’d all agree upon and in turn benefit from. I like the name “family resolutions”! Thank you Kelly for sharing that. I called ours our Code of Conduct for 2011. Too formal methinks LOL. :)

  • Tyler


    January 5th, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Thanks for the idea, Kelly. Getting my family to all sit round a table and not have the conversation dissolve into an argument would be enough for me! I can but try. :) I like this Family Resolutions idea where everybody has input. I’ll give this a go and attempt to gain some peace in our home.

  • Alex


    January 5th, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    “Families can stick together, not in a nagging way but in a helpful way.” Amen to that, Kelly. My teenager thinks all I do is nag when really I’m trying to stop him getting into a row. I remind him when he’s not doing the small things he’s asked to like putting out the trash. It is so frustrating that he needs constant reminders about regular chores. Why he doesn’t just do it instead of getting himself in trouble I’ll never know. It would be a lot easier for all of us if he did. He promises, does it right for a little while, then falls back into needing reminded.

  • Karen


    January 5th, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    Wow…I had Never heard of anything like a new year resolution shared between two or more people…But as I can imagine,it’ll have is own set of positives and negatives.

  • @ngry 6ird

    @ngry 6ird

    January 6th, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Family resolutions are usually fun…We have followed this tradition in our family ever since I was little and trust me,it really helps to have others share your resolution to keep you on track!

  • Jenn


    January 6th, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    This year my family and I have resolved to eat healthy and to get more active- TOGETHER! We all know that this is something that alone we may not be able to face but with the help of the rest of the family and everyone taking an active role in the commitment than maybe we can be a success. We know that a change like this is something that is going to affect the entire household but that it is so important to our overall health as a family. I wish that we all had gotten on board with this sooner but here we are and this is as good of a starting point as any. We need all of the support and help that we can get, but hopefully as a team effort we will be a sucecss! I will keep you posted.

  • Lily


    January 7th, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    After I read this I felt quite excited about trying it out!

    Above all, I asked the family to be more kind and thoughtful towards each other’s needs and to themselves. That should cover several bases. Thanks for the suggestion, Kelly!

  • Fiona


    January 7th, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    We have agreed to make Wednesday night a family night. I’ve felt for a long time we were becoming more disconnected from each other. We all have commitments because of school and work, so much so I feel like installing a revolving door to accommodate how everyone flies in and out of this house. Kidding.

    2011 is going to be our family’s year to reconnect and spend time together as a unit. And it won’t be complicated either: a games night, a movie night, a trip to the park, and takeout so there’s no cooking and cleanup. I want to be all about relaxing, having fun and catching up with each other. Wish me luck!

  • courtney


    January 7th, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Family meetings depress me. We talk and talk, and whenever I finally think we’ve all agreed on something and we all leave the table, sure as fate it’s all forgotten about in a week by everyone apart from me. It’s so demoralizing. My feelings get hurt too because whatever it is that’s important to me doesn’t matter to them enough for them to follow through. I’m including my husband here too! I can’t exactly punish him for not doing so, now can I. And it’s not intentional. He just forgets about it. That’s probably why the kids follow suit, now that I think about it.

  • Jesse


    January 8th, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    I struggled a little on what to bring up for our family resolutions. But when I thought about it more, most of it boils down to consideration. We also thrashed out a couple of other things that had been irritating each of us for whatever reason. I feel good now because we’re going into the New Year with collective resolutions and for once I’m not the bad guy laying down the law.

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