Volunteering as a family can be a dynamic experience. Adults and children alike can grow from the enriching experience of volunteering together. There are a plethora of reasons to get involved as a family, from health benefits to better quality time as a cohesive unit.
In this stage of life, children learn best through observation and experience. It’s a very “monkey see; monkey do” mindset for children and adolescents. The things they see people they trust or respect doing is behavior they will model. When older family members display compassion and a desire to help those around them, it gives them a higher chance of mimicking and valuing that behavior in their own lives. Backing up the values you distill in them verbally is more helpful than just telling them what to do.
Kids volunteering helps them learn beyond the classroom. They learn critical skills like leadership and teamwork. Being around other people in a compassionate mindset also helps grow interpersonal skills and essential habits. Volunteering can also help reinforce the information they learn in the classroom. For example, if your child learns environmental and nature facts in class, volunteering at a community garden can reinforce what they’ve learned about the plant cycle.
So Many Options
It may seem like volunteering with children may limit what you can do, but you don’t need to volunteer with a mega-organization and fly to different countries to make a difference. Task as simple as visiting elderly patients who are lonely to bring them joy and companionship can make a world of difference. Check out some of the following options for volunteering.
- Making cards for hospitalized children
- Sending care packages or letters to soldiers
- Prepare and serve meals
- Assist in cleaning up parks and other littered areas.
- Teach them how to save and conserve and gift abundance to other people.
Volunteering is a beautiful way to show your kids the importance of compassion and philanthropy. Not only that, but it can strengthen your bond as a family and create memories that will last their whole lives.