2014 is fast approaching, so it’s time to discuss New Year’s Resolutions with your family. This year, step beyond the standard resolutions to conquer bad habits and improve health. Your kids are old enough to see that the world’s not perfect, and they’re compassionate enough to want to change it. Help them make resolutions that will leave the planet, the country, and their own communities a better place at the end of 2014 than they were at the beginning. Do you need ideas? Here are five New Year’s resolutions for kids who want to change the world.
Many people remember to donate money at the holidays, but let charities languish during the rest of the year. Help your kids develop a habit of regular giving. Have each child pick a favorite charity, then encourage her to give 10 percent of her allowance to that charity all year long. The habits she forms in 2014 will lead to a lifetime of generosity.
2. Feed the Hungry.
Food pantries also need support year-round. Make a family pledge: on each shopping trip in the New Year, each family member will pick out one item for the local food pantry. Put your kids in charge of checking with the food pantry to see where the areas of greatest need are each week. Don’t forget to pick up some out-of-the-ordinary items. No one can live on canned beans and vegetables alone.
3. Give the Gift of Time.
Let your children select a local organization at which they’d like to volunteer. Schedule a monthly or weekly time so that volunteering becomes part of their regular routine. Your kids will get a deeper knowledge of a local charity and get to make a concrete difference in their community.
4. Commit Random Acts of Kindness.
Encourage your children to embrace random acts of kindness. They should try to do one unexpected nice thing each day for a friend, classmate, neighbor, or family member. Stress that these random acts should be anonymous. Your children don’t need recognition for their efforts. Instead, the reward comes from making another person’s day a bit happier.
5. Be an Activist.
If you want to change the world, you have to find your voice. Help your kids find a cause that they really care about. Teach them how to call congressmen, write letters, and blog in support of that cause. Let them learn how to raise awareness and build support. You’ll be preparing them for a lifetime of political involvement and real change.
How does your family handle New Year’s resolutions for kids? Share your experiences in the comments.
Image Source: Fred Hsu on Flickr.