With 2012 upon us, we asked a handful of parents about their most important kid-related goals for the New Year. True, we already celebrated the Jewish New Year at Rosh Hashanah and perhaps made some personal resolutions then, but the secular New Year provides yet another opportunity to reflect on things like parenting and family. These heartfelt and meaningful parental resolutions just may inspire your own!

“I resolve to make Judaism fun in 2012 for my daughter! I want to build a sukkah, dress up for Purim and sing lots of Shabbat songs. I also resolve to spend more quality time at home—I hope to travel for work a bit less, not work as long hours and leave the stress of work at the office. As a new parent and new homeowner, I also want to have a financially successful year (which, of course, is the cause of most of my work stress). I also want to leave at least one day per month to see friends for a round of golf, happy hour or to watch a game.”
—Jeremy (daughter Brianna, 3 months)

“My New Year’s resolution is to not be afraid to travel with my daughter. I realized I’m keeping her from experiencing fun adventures due to my fear of deviating from our routine, and I am vowing to take our family away in 2012.”
—Jenn (daughter Zoe, 9 months)

“As the father of a teenager who doesn’t always jump at doing his homework, I often find that my son and I become trapped in an escalating cycle of demands, yelling and sarcasm. I don’t always act as a role model for how I would want my son to act when his child is resistant to doing his or her homework. It’s very hard to know, as parents, when to allow our children to fail—and, we hope in the long run, to succeed—and when to intervene on behalf of their best interests. I’m often more reflexive than strategic in the heat of the moment. My New Year’s resolution is to have a clearer sense of our parenting policy, to be more consistent in its application, and to be more calm and compassionate in each of these encounters, no matter how difficult he is being.”
—David (sons Josh, 14, and Ari, 6)

“This year I hope to be more patient and take a lesson from my oldest son, who literally stops to smell the roses.”
—Robin (sons Ariel, 4, and Oren, 19 months)

“With a sometimes challenging schedule, my resolution is to carve out more time for family (and downtime for my wife) and not be distracted by emails, calls or ESPN. I also aim to participate in more of the programs at our synagogue to help strengthen our Jewish identity and connection to the community. Finally, I hope to inculcate a greater appreciation for Springsteen and the St. Louis Cardinals while learning the secrets of the Phineas and Ferb Wii game.”
—Todd (daughters Ashlyn, 6, Jordyn, 3, and Lauryn, 6 months)

“I want to stop and enjoy the moment, rather than always trying to plan what’s next. This goes for pictures as well—I need to stop running off to find the camera in the middle of some special time; by the time I find the camera, I’m too late to photograph the essence of the moment anyway, and I’ve missed half of whatever is happening!”
—Laura (sons Zachary, 3, and Daniel, 6 months)

“This year I plan on having Shabbat every Friday night with my son (and, of course, his mom/my wife, Leslie). Even if it’s not a big homemade meal, we’ll at least light the candles, bless him and say the blessing over the bread. We always had Shabbat every Friday night in my house growing up, and I want the tradition to continue.”
—Aaron (son Jacob, 2)

“We are really trying to encourage the boys to be less egocentric in this day and age. I coordinated with a local organization so we can go once a month and assist with sorting and separating gently used toys and clothing for many underprivileged families. This includes pulling from our own stash of toys and clothing. We are also trying to better incorporate the reuse and recycle philosophy in our daily lives; we’re OK at it but get sloppy from time to time.”
—Hilary (sons Spencer, 8, Griffin, 6, and Carter, 20 months)