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New Year's Resolution: 10 Ways to Empower Your Kids to Make a Difference in Their Lives

Photo credit: Meredith Carroll

Surrender more power to your kids in 2014 then you (and they) thought you would. You’ll both be surprised at the results.

Right around the time of my 30th birthday, I wallowed miserably about the stale trajectory of my life. It seemed like everyone around me was growing, moving and getting closer to where they wanted to be personally and professionally while I was stuck in my own version of a Groundhog Day-like rut. Then I watched an episode of Oprah where an audience member talked about how she once found herself sitting around and waiting for someone or something to come along and make changes for her — and when she realized she had to be her own change, she was able to love forward and live the life she wanted.

That was the light bulb moment for me. Shortly thereafter, I moved: geographically, professionally and personally. I just did it — leaving behind tons of self-pity and sorry excuses.

I just came across a blog called Tiny Buddha, which offers “simple wisdom for complex lives.” Just in time for the new year, a post on the site asked readers to chime in on ways to make a difference in the world every day.

My new year’s resolutions for 2014 are to guide my kids to make a difference in their lives every day by finding their own happiness — and sadness, silliness, anger — and empowering them to to be their own change when they feel it’s necessary. They’re young, but I don’t want them waiting until their fourth decade in life to learn how to do it. Kids often get frustrated when they realize they have little control over their lives, but by surrendering their power to them in appropriate amounts, you’ll be imparting to them one of the best gifts they can ever receive — at just the right time.

Here are 10 things my family will be working on this year:

Photo credits: Meredith Carroll

More from Meredith on Babble:

Follow Meredith on Twitter and check out her regular column on the op-ed page of The Denver Post at MeredithCarroll.com

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