New Year’s resolutions teach children responsibility

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By Carolyn Tomlin
Guest Writer

According to the dictionary, the term New Year’s resolutions is defined as “making goals for the New Year.” We are not certain when this custom started, but this practice was recorded by early Babylonians over four thousand years ago.
These people believed that whatever that person did on the first day of the year had an important impact on their life for the next twelve months.
As 2020 begins, Tennessee families will be optimistically setting New Year’s resolutions. The most common goals for adults include: to eat healthier, get more exercise, and to save more money. But what about our children and youth? How can parents and teachers use this time to teach responsibility and to serve others?
New Year resolutions can make a difference. Setting goals help children and youth grow in maturity. Work with the young people in your life to make a commitment and set personal goals for 2020. Share these ideas:
Peer pressure often has more influence on children and teens than their parents. It is often said, “A person is known by the friends they choose.” Being around people who have like-minded morals and values can make a difference in your life. Choose best friends who have high standards.
Pray at least 15 minutes each day. Pray before school each morning. Ask God to help you show compassion to other students; to keep you safe; to help you focus on instructional materials. Find quiet moments throughout the day to reflect on God’s blessings to you. Thank God at the end of the day for his many blessings.
Schedule time for quietness in your day. Turn off all distractions, such as the TV, computer, any video equipment. Relax your muscles and breathe deeply. Feel your body calm down.
Start volunteering. Could you “adopt” a lonely, elderly person in a nursing home? Make regular visits and share your life with your new friend. How can you serve people in your church, community, and through mission opportunities?
Budget your income. Even children can be taught to save some, spend some, and contribute to the well-fare of others. This includes money earned and monetary gifts.
Read the classics in literature. Choose authors who write on topics that interest you. Check your public library for favorite writers who focus on children and youth.
Commit to random acts of kindness. Look for ways to help others without the thought of being rewarded or paid back.
Consider adopting a pet from an animal shelter. If this is not possible, foster an animal that is awaiting a “forever” home.
As you think of New Year resolutions this year, consider how setting goals can build responsibility in your children and teens.
Carolyn Tomlin writes for the magazine and newspaper market. She is the author of, 6 Steps to Successful Magazine Publishing, available on Amazon and Kindle. Email: tomlinm@bellsouth.net