As kids are growing up, it’s important to teach them the value of community and giving back. Schools are able to teach kids many important skills and give them a valuable education, however, it’s up to parents to introduce them to it and give them a reason to continue to do it. Community service and volunteering is the foundation for any tight-knit community and of course, the future of every community is its kids.
Tell them why it matters
Before you expect your kids to enjoy giving their time for a cause, it’s important to explain to them why it matters. Young kids won’t immediately understand why it’s so significant to work at a cause for no pay, especially when they are taught from a young age that they have to work for things to earn them. Help your kids understand the impact of their effort and just how important it is for them to do their part, even when they won’t immediately get something in return.
Lead by example
There’s much more to getting kids to see how volunteering their time can make an impact or benefit them in any way. While an explanation will surely help them make more sense of it, it’s important to lead by example. Simply put, if you want your kids to be active members of their community, they have to see you be one yourself. Even if your kids don’t play dress-up and walk and talk like their parents, they’re absorbing all of their surroundings. Today, its becoming harder and harder to filter what kids are exposed to, so why not make it something positive?
Volunteer as a family
There are many ways to spend your time with your family. Whether watching a movie or taking family road trips, every chance your get to spend with your family is significant, especially when free time isn’t abundant. Take the time to do things a little different next time you’re spending time with the whole family. There are many ways and places to volunteer your time that are family-friendly. Whether it’s planting a tree or helping out at a shelter, there are plenty of ways to help make change.
Recognize their efforts
At the end of a long day of volunteering, you might not get a pack on the back or even a thank you. What makes it special is that people give their time because whether someone says it or not, they know they’ve made a difference. But that’s not to say kids should not go unrecognized for their efforts. While you probably wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) reward them with money, certificates are a great way to let them know you’re proud of them and at the end of the day, that can mean a world of a lot more to a kid.