Instilling the Spirit of Giving in Your Child
Teaching the gift of giving is a valuable life lesson appropriate for any age. Research shows people who are involved in charitable giving when they are young are twice as likely to continue giving in adulthood. By involving your child in community service activities, you can begin a tradition that lasts a lifetime.
Children, like adults, can donate time and effort to most any community project. When children participate in community service, they:
• Experience a connection to their community;
• Develop social responsibility;
• Become aware of diversity in their communities;
• Learn about cooperation, problem-solving skills and citizenship;
• Build confidence in knowing they can make a difference
To encourage your child's participation in community service, keep these recommendations in mind:
• Lead by example. Serve as a role model by volunteering at your child's school or engaging them in frequent conversation about community service.
• Involve your child in selecting a project or cause in which to participate.
• Consider a developmentally appropriate cause based on your child's interest and skill level.
• Prepare your child for the experience by asking questions, providing options and listening to their needs and wants.
• Praise their efforts and talk about your volunteer experience once it is complete.
• Start small. Recycling at home is a great way to incorporate community service into your daily or weekly routine.