Kids that Serve: Teaching Children to Give Back
While the holidays are notorious for the spirit of giving, you and your family can keep on giving all year round in many simple ways. Many people feel they don’t have enough time to volunteer an entire Saturday at a local food bank, or even have enough money to give. However, there are many small things your family can do that will make a big difference in someone else’s life.
To begin, just spending quality time with your children is a priceless way you can give back to the community. Raising your children to be upstanding citizens in the community is a contribution to society that only you can give as a parent. Kids that are service-oriented learn the value of hard work, learn to appreciate the things they have, and find greater purpose through their ability to help others. Teaching your children to serve empowers and enables them as they develop into adults.
Kids learn best by example. When we as parents are constantly seeking opportunities to serve others and give back, our kids will learn to value service and find ways they can give back too. Service usually isn’t easy or convenient, but it is always rewarding. When your children see that you make a special effort to be charitable, they will start to do the same.
Involving your children in your charitable contributions is an important part of their training on becoming service-minded individuals. Make donations a family affair. If your children earn an allowance or have a job, have them set aside a small portion to give to a charity of their choice. Research some charities that strike a chord with your kids and find out ways you can make a difference.
Donating things you no longer use or need is an easy way to serve. Take time to regularly go through your kid’s closet with them and decide together what items to give away. Holding a garage sale and donating the money earned to charity is another great way to clean out the house while also helping others.
Other service projects you can do with your children include:
Volunteering at a food bank
Delivering flowers to your neighbors
Picking up trash at a park
Helping a sibling clean their room or do their chores
Making greeting cards and activity packets with coloring books and stickers for children in the hospital
Taking thank you cards to your local fire or police department
Decorating pillowcases with an inspiring message and donating them to a children’s or women’s shelter
Show your children that you are excited to serve others and your community and they will reflect that optimism. Happy serving!