Instilling the value of volunteering in your child starts from an early age. Teaching your child the importance of giving back and helping those less fortunate is valuable to helping to mold them into responsible citizens. There are many ways you can introduce your children to volunteering and make giving back a lifelong habit.
Lead by Example
Volunteering does not always mean signing up for an organization and doing official volunteer work. It can mean offering to shovel the snow for an elderly neighbor, running errands for a sick family member or helping to clean up a local park with a few friends. The key is that your child sees you doing your part to make life easier for others and to improve the world in which we live. Once you set the example for your child, then it will be easier for them to simply make being helpful a habit.
Tailor Volunteering to his Interests
If your child loves animals, sign up to do volunteer work at a local animal shelter or rescue society. If he is interested in building things, there are organizations that build homes for the needy and are always looking for volunteers. A child who seeks justice and fairness would enjoy volunteering for organizations like Unicef that lend aid to needy children across the globe. Whatever his passion, there is an organization that can use his talents and skills.
Children as young as three years old can get into the habit of volunteering. In most large scale volunteer projects, there are tasks that even the smallest hands can perform. Take your little one to help clean up a community garden, clean up a beach or deliver meals to the elderly. The sooner they start volunteering, the more likely they will be to continue the habit throughout life.
Do it Often
Make volunteering a regular activity. It can be a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon and become a family tradition. When it becomes a regular part of their lives, they will be more likely to continue their volunteer efforts on their own. Although volunteering is work, it can be fun work. Incorporate a fun element into the activity like going to a park to play afterward and your children will come to love volunteering.
Fundraising is Volunteering Too
There are many organizations that offer opportunities for children to help in fundraising efforts. Selling candy, starting a bake sale or organizing a sporting event for charity is a good way to get your kid started on the road to charitable giving and philanthropy.
Encouraging your child to give back and volunteer will build the foundation for a lifetime of charity and selflessness. Find the right opportunities for volunteering today.