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September is a fresh start

Time to make some new (school) year's resolutions

MANY of us - even those without children or in school themselves - view the first day back at school as the start of a new year.

As we were all in school at one time or another, we all recognize that the day after Labour Day really is an opportunity to start fresh, shake off some bad habits and kick-start some new ones.

As such, it's a great time to reflect and make some steadfast "resolutions" to stick to until the end of the school year (or even permanently).

We all know it's easier to turn a resolution into a habit by doing it with other people. In doing so, you'll feel more responsible to hold up your end of the bargain, so why not extend the resolution to your entire family?

Kids can get really excited about new activities and rituals, so take a moment and sit down together to brainstorm. By making it a family affair, you're setting your family up for success and hopefully instilling some life-long habits that will increase your health and wellbeing.

The following are a few thoughtstarters, but the fun part is customizing and tailoring the resolutions to your family:

- Sit down together every morning for breakfast. Mornings can be hectic, but if you choose a simple breakfast that is a crowd-pleaser and that everyone can help themselves to, such as cereal, it's a resolution you can keep. Experts worldwide agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, for kids and adults alike. Plus, it's a great way to connect before the day begins and everyone goes their separate ways. More information about the benefits of choosing cereal can be found online at

- Pick one TV show that you will all watch together every week. It could be a favourite sitcom, sports or even a cartoon, but sharing a laugh together and talking about your favourite parts in the show is a really great way to make lasting memories. Make this a must-attend event. Once the show is picked, everyone has to make the time and a commitment to share in it together.

- Make physical activity a part of every day. We all know that kids these days are leading more sedentary lives than their parents and grandparents did. It's important to show children the value of exercise and how fun it can be. It could be a bike ride, walking, skating, rollerblading, dancing in the family room or even a scavenger hunt in the backyard, but setting aside at least 30 minutes a day for your kids to engage in physical activity is a must.

- Set chores for everyone. Parents lead by example, so it's important that your children understand how much work their parents do and what they can do to help. Once they have ownership over a certain task, make it fun for them by handing out stickers or playing music during clean-up time, and they will more than likely continue to do it.