My New Year's Resolution for 2018: Guilt-Free Parenting

December 29, 2017 | Jennifer K

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Happy New Year’s everyone! Like most working parents, my New Year’s resolutions tend to revolve around being a better, more present parent. Ergo, my resolutions tend to fall along the lines of “get more sleep,” “try not to drink more than three cups of coffee a day,” and “get more sleep.” Wait, did I say that twice? Huh, I think my subconscious is trying to tell me something.

THIS YEAR however, I am going to resolve to do something that is reasonable and actually doable. (Sleep? What’s that?)

I resolve to practice some guilt-free parenting.

This includes:

  1. Telling funnier jokes. Unfortunately for me and most of the parents reading this (sorry guys…), we have been plagued by what is known as “daddy humour;” which, as it turns out, also applies to well-meaning moms. A few months ago, I took out this book from my branch called "Joking Around with Chirp" and started writing out the jokes that made me laugh and putting them in my six-year-old son’s lunch every morning. Actually, this had a dual purpose – not only to prove that mommy was just as funny as daddy, but also to test his reading comprehension. I did a silent fist pump every time he came home laughing at the joke.  

Chirp jokes

2. Do simple STEM at home. Allow me to explain. Right now a popular emphasis in school is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning. Schools are integrating STEM concepts into the curriculum and, of course, public library systems have jumped on board, as well (tip: check your local district branch location for our high-quality Sunday Mini Maker’s programs. My son in particular loves doing experiments, so I’ve made it my own personal goal to try to put together simple STEM activities with ingredients found in my pantry. I remember one in particular that I did in grade school that is my go-to on rainy days, made popular by Dr. Seuss’ "Bartholomew and the Ooblek".

“Bored with rain, sun, fog, and snow, King Derwin of Didd summons his royal magicians to create something new and exciting to fall from the sky. What he gets is a storm of sticky green globs called Oobleck, which soon causes a royal mess.”


To make ooblek at home, you will need the following:


Spoon (or hands will work, too)

1 cup cornstarch

½ cup water

A few drops of food colouring (optional, but so much better if used!)

Dump one cup of cornstarch into an unsuspecting bowl. Add a few drops of food colouring to make the ooblek look cool; the more drops, the more dramatic the ooblek when mixed. Add ½ cup of water to cornstarch. Mix with spoon or hands. Test the mixture by trying to form a ball in your hands. If the mixture ‘spills’ when your hands aren’t moving and stays ‘solid’ when your hands are moving, you’ve done it right.

3. Make creating a New Year’s resolution a spectator sport. The library has many books along the lines of "Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolutions" that teaches the main concept to the little ones in your family. Read this book or similar books as a family and then have them tell you what their New Year’s resolutions should be. For a good laugh, ask them what mommy and daddy’s resolutions should be, and try not to hug them too long when the answer is adorable.

Squirrel New year

Happy New Year, everyone!