If your teen is like many others, you can’t even get them to clean their room half the time without a bribe, so you are probably thinking there is little chance you are going to be able to get them to volunteer without actually forcing them to do so. Well, you might be quite surprised! Teens typically enjoy volunteering, especially after they actually do it once and see how rewarding it is. Yes, they are probably busy with school work, sports, friends, etc., so you may feel they just don’t have the time to squeeze volunteering into their schedule. Honestly, even volunteering once or twice a month can be very beneficial to them. Below are a few reasons why you should encourage them to give back to their community.
- Appreciate Things They Have – Teens (and adults) often take a lot for granted. It’s sort of like when the power goes out; you don’t think about having heat and hot water until you don’t have either. In such a materialistic world, it is extremely hard to raise selfless children. Sometimes, volunteering is what is needed for them to appreciate you, as well as what they have.
- Looks Good On Paper – Okay, call it shallow, superficial, or whatever, but putting volunteering on a college application or resume gives them a leg up on their competition. Besides, you can encourage them to volunteer, so they have a better chance of getting into the school they want to go to, but chances are good they will make the decision to stick with it simply because they want to.
- Makes Them Feel Important – Kids often feel like they don’t matter, or that nothing they do is good enough. Volunteering makes them feel important. They are making a difference and they can see the ripple effect of their goodness. It makes them feel empowered, able, and sufficient, thereby improving self-esteem.
- Improved Attitude – Is your teen’s attitude less than desirable these days? Maybe they are stressed or just in a slump. Parents have no idea what really is going on in their mind of a teenager. Volunteering reduces stress because it directs focus away from you. Focusing on someone else can interrupt tension productivity patterns. It also makes you feel good and full of joy and optimism, which can strengthen the immune system.
Gives You a Chance to Reward Them – Although you may bribe your teenager to do their chores, you should not bribe them to volunteer. This makes them feel like they are supposed to hate the experience. After all, you wouldn’t bribe them if they were going to have fun, right? Well, although you don’t want to bribe them, you certainly can reward them. Maybe match the down payment they have been saving for to put down on a car or surprise them with the bean bag chairs they have been wanting for the game room. You can find a huge selection of bean bag chairs at stores like Soothing Company.