Raising children and instilling a sense of responsibility and good citizenship is a wonderful challenge, though many parents don’t give much thought as to how they can facilitate these attributes of good character while managing every other aspect of family life.
Although many school and educational programs exist for children that are designed to instill principles of character such as:
● Good Citizenship
The primary responsibility for raising kind, thoughtful, positive contributors to society lies with us as parents.
How about volunteering?
From a very young age, volunteering helps to instill these principles and put theory into action; parents model behaviors that help others and expand social awareness, and kids follow suit, learning that they have the power and influence to positively impact others, contribute to a greater good and make a difference. Here are some other reasons that you need to encourage your child to volunteer:
1. Your child will understand and develop empathy
Empathy is a critical emotion needed for effectively responding to the needs of others. Having a sense of what others may be going through gives us enough data to appropriately respond to and meet their needs. Through these additional opportunities to see others from a new perspective, your child will mature as they develop an understanding that it’s not always about them. We have a ton of local volunteer opportunities in Warminster and throughout the Bucks County area for your child to take part in.
2. Your child will increase their sense of self-efficacy
Watching social injustices on TV may be incredibly frustrating for a child who wishes to help, but they have no idea where to start. Being able to include them in volunteer opportunities where they feel they can make a difference will give them an incredible sense of empowerment and responsibility, two qualities that are quite effective in helping your child to grow.
3. Your child will develop new skills
Nothing makes a child feel more empowered than acquiring and developing new skills. Through opportunities to volunteer, a child can acquire new skill sets, such as communicating with others, packing and organizing materials, or coordinating giving efforts that they might not have had without their volunteer efforts. Your child will mature and grow through these new opportunities, and they may even find areas of growth and proficiency where they truly shine.
How can we get involved?
There are some things you can do to start your child off on a successful pathway of influence and social change. Some of these simple volunteer efforts that are suitable for children include:
● Packing meals for underprivileged communities
● Donating clothing or school supplies to children in need
● Helping at local daycare centers
● Tutoring struggling students
● Washing cars for a local church or community organization
The satisfaction of a job well done will keep your growing child coming back for more, and before you know it, you will be volunteering alongside a kind, respectful, giving member of your community! To learn more about community service opportunities in Bucks County, contact Bucks United Way today.