Teach Your Children How To Get Involved
When you give back to your community—whether you do it by volunteering at the local shelter, reading to young children at your community hospital, or planting trees at your neighborhood park on Arbor Day—you feel a sense of accomplishment. Chances are you also feel a little bit good about yourself. Most importantly, however, you likely also realize that there are people out there whose problems are much greater than your own and who would be more than happy to walk in your shoes for even just a day. All of these takeaways have the potential to impact any adult in a positive manner, so it would make sense that they would have a positive influence on children as well.
Top Benefits of Giving Back
If you’re in the habit of giving back to the community, get your children involved. By involving them in your philanthropic efforts, you can instill in them a sense of kindness, gratitude, and generosity. Moreover, according to Statesman Journal, volunteering allows your children to experience empathy firsthand and to develop many skills that will serve them well throughout their lives, including teamwork, responsibility, communication, goal setting, and time management.
Medium details several other benefits of volunteering. For instance, giving back as a family can strengthen the familial bond and family unit. When members of a family champion and contribute to the same cause, it gives them something to talk about and do together. It also gives them a bonding opportunity they may not otherwise get in today’s go-go-go landscape.
Studies show that giving back also benefits physical health. On one hand, when you clean up your community, you create a healthier environment in which to live. On the other, when you encourage your children to volunteer, you’re helping them foster strong social connections, which can help alleviate loneliness. Volunteering also gives your kids a sense of purpose, which helps raise their self-esteem.
Volunteering does not just benefit your community now—rather, it can have a long-term positive impact on its future as well. When even just one member of a community suffers, other aspects of the community suffer. When dozens to hundreds of members of a community suffer, the entire community may hurt. Whether you and your children make it a point to donate to the local shelter once a month, volunteer at your community nursing home, or plant trees at your neighborhood park, you’re building the foundation for a stronger, healthier, and more sustainable future.
Get Your Children Involved
If you’re like many parents who are new to the volunteer world, you may be at a loss as to how to get yourself and your children involved. Some communities make it easy to get involved by supporting organizations such as the Sullivan Community Space in Oakland, CA, while others force you to put forth a little more effort into locating volunteer opportunities. If you live in one of the latter types of communities, consider the following advice to find a way to give back that works for you and your family:
- Ask around to find out what’s needed: money or time. Of the two, do you have more of one to spare?
- Find a volunteer activity that interests you and your children. Though volunteering won’t always be fun, by starting with something that is, you can capture your children’s interests more easily.
- Make volunteering a part of your schedule. Doing so allows you to prioritize it.
- Find a way to give back that you can realistically do. For instance, if you only have an hour to spare each week, consider doing something easy, such as donating a toy to a toy drive once a month.
If you want to raise kids who are empathetic, kind, and generous, get them involved in the community. Use the above advice to get started.