Community Service: Getting Kids Involved
Parents are charged with teaching their children many valuable principles about life, but with busy schedules and other priorities, many parents overlook the importance of including lessons on volunteering and becoming involved in community service. By educating a young person about helping those in need, you are not only teaching kids to be a responsible citizen, but you are teaching them to care for others and have compassion. Giving of time and resource helps children learn the extent to which they can have a significant impact on other individuals and families in their own neighborhood.
Talking about Community Service
The best way for parents to get their children thinking about becoming involved in charity and community services is to talk to them about volunteering. Explain to them what it is and why you would do it. Talk about your own experience with serving your community and how the community benefits from even one person giving time or resources to improve the lives of others. Talk about social concerns and find out what your child is concerned about. Finally, get your child’s input about what kind of community service they think they would like to do. If could be volunteering at an animal shelter, helping feed the homeless at a soup kitchen, or starting a school supply drive for underprivileged children.
Just Do It!
Almost everybody has an innate desire to give, but, oftentimes, the hustle and bustle of life gets in the way and, somehow, they never get around to it. Teaching your child about serving the community means making a plan and scheduling the activity. Start small by picking a couple of hours on a weekend to do your service. Just like any other activity, volunteering for community service must be scheduled in for it to become a habit.
What about well-meaning parents that simply don’t have a break in their schedule for organizing a volunteer activity? Teaching charity and the concept of giving to children doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. Community service can be as simple as showing your child how to hold the door open for others, or helping an elderly person with their bags, or even baking cookies for a local police or fire department. The wonderful thing about giving of oneself is that is contagious and addictive. Better yet, when your child gets a taste of the intrinsic rewards of giving, they will automatically begin to notice opportunities for helping out.
Volunteering in the community carries significant rewards for the giver, that makes doing good deeds for others become second nature, and children that are involved in this way are a true inspiration to others. By teaching children to volunteer their time and resources, you not only teach them to positively impact the people in the world around them, but you give them a source of reward that will last their entire life.