It’s been said that children who volunteer with their parents have higher self-esteem, more confidence, and tend to be less aggressive. By encouraging your children to volunteer, they will be given an opportunity to make a difference while learning important lessons. It’s up to you to decide what kind of projects they could do, but here are a few suggestions:
Community Service Projects
Brainstorm with your child where they would like to volunteer during the summer. Depending on their ages, it could be anything from launching a toy drive, to painting playgrounds, or even helping in a soup kitchen. Allow them to choose the organization and activity. By volunteering together, parents can learn more about their children – how they interact with others, and even their work ethic.
Many churches, synagogues and mosques organize volunteer days. Some visit senior citizen facilities, organize book drives, distribute clothing to shelters or food baskets to the elderly. Volunteer days are a great way for children to work within their community and understand others’ struggles. It shows them how helping their neighbors makes a difference.
A Family Affair
Make volunteering a family affair, allowing your children to choose age-appropriate projects such as picking up trash from a favorite park or starting a canned food drive. It could be as simple as making cookies for a sick neighbor. If they are very young and usually enthusiastic to help others, set the parameters of what they can do and what is expected of them. You don’t want them to get discouraged if they’re unable to do everything because they’re too little.
As a parent, you want your child to succeed as much as possible while making a positive impact on others. Encourage your children’s efforts and model good behavior. Help them feel that they are a part of the community and get them involved in age-appropriate volunteer projects. Soon your child’s natural compassion for others will thrive into a lifelong effort to help the less fortunate.