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Primary school parents' resolutions for the New Year

Parents' resolutions for 2017
The start of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on what we could do differently in the 12 months ahead. Here are our resolutions for the year ahead...

If you were to get an end-of-year report on your parenting skills, what would it say? 'Could do better', 'Must try harder', 'Room for improvement'?

In reality, no matter how good our intentions, none of us can claim to be perfect parents all the time – and having a child at primary school can mean that we're found lacking more often than we might like. So, to get us off to a great start for the New Year, here are our parenting resolutions for the 12 months ahead. What would you add?

1. I will buy twice as many school jumpers as I think my child will need. At least half of them will go missing within a week of purchase.

2. I will keep a stash of 50ps and pound coins in the house at all times to pay for non-uniform days and cake sales. And I will not raid the jar when I get a mid-afternoon chocolate craving or need money for a parking meter.

3. I will not assume my child is telling the truth when they say they don't have any homework.

4. I will not drink wine on school nights. The morning routine is bad enough without feeling like something has died in my cranial cavity.

5. I will ensure that reading books are put back in school bags as soon as they're finished so we don't end up turning the house upside down at 8.30 in the morning when we discover they've gone AWOL.

6. I will not get competitive about what we do with the class bear.

7. I will enforce responsible screentime rules of no more than half an hour on school days. Okay, then, maybe an hour...

8. I will not let my child take their trading cards, marble collection or any other prized possession to school. It will only end in tears.

9. I will remember to take a snack with me every single pick-up time. Hell hath no fury like a hangry child who has to wait more than 30 seconds for food.

10. I will not give up on sending cucumber sticks and chopped apple in my child's lunchbox. You never know, one day they might actually get hungry enough to eat them...

11. I will not get drawn into playground politics, but will smile sweetly and remain strictly impartial in every situation. And then rant and rave about it in private.

12. I will not feel guilty about recycling 90 per cent of the artwork that comes home from school. Until my child asks me where their papier-mâché and yoghurt pot space station has gone...

13. I will make sure bags are packed, uniform is laid out and shoes are neatly paired by the front door before I go to bed every evening.

14. I will not press the snooze button on the alarm clock – ever. Those five extra minutes in bed feel so good, but not good enough to justify the total panic when we have to leave the house and no one is anywhere near ready.

15. I will not leave it until the last minute to pull together an outfit for Book Day/Maths Week/the Nativity play.

16. I will get round to framing my child's school photo  honest.

17. I will make a note of every important term date, and will not send my child to school in uniform on mufti day (again).

18. I will not be persuaded into taking part in the parents' race on Sports Day.

19. I will smile sweetly and be endlessly encouraging if my child ends up home learning, and try not to let it show that inside, I'm snarling and screaming.

20. I will not beat myself up when I fail to keep any of these resolutions, and end the year just as frazzled as usual.

Happy New Year everyone!

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