Serving Up a Kid Who Cares

No mom wants to have the bratty kid. That one of us will have to end up that parent is just part of Mother Nature’s wicked sense of humor (methinks she must be Grandmother Nature).

But we can get our kids off on the right foot by getting them involved.
I watched an episode of Franklin with my daughter this week that was slightly less insipid then usual (yes, I said it, and I meant it). The “kids” were all supposed to find jobs in the community, and Franklin was noticing a lot of his friends were tailor-made for community projects (the beaver could chew up the downed tree, etc.).

And somehow, fate dropped Sondra Clark’s 77 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve in my lap the same week. Written by an 18-year-old, the book is a quick and simple read for Mom or kids from tween age on up, with simple ideas that work for most families. Some ideas we probably don’t need in our kids’ heads (if you lived in a subdivision, make sure they read past the title of #3, Buy a Goat . . . she doesn’t mean to bring it home), but the next time you hear “I’m booooored,” this is the book you chuck in their direction.

The ideas are engaging enough that kids of any age will find something they can do (a 3-year-old can help separate plastic from paper for recycling, for example, while a 12-year-old can make a “no sew” fleece blanket to donate to a local shelter or drop off at the nursing home), and the instructions are just as simple to follow.

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