Volunteering is beneficial for everyone. It gives us a sense of purpose and helps others at the same time. While many adults make an effort to give back, it’s also important for children to volunteer, too. Not only will it help others, but it will also inspire your child to continue the trend as they age. Here are a few ways you can encourage your child to volunteer.
Explain The Importance
Children are more intelligent than most adults think, so the first step an adult should take is explaining the importance of volunteering to their child. This could mean taking a trip to a charity’s local office or connecting with someone involved in an organization. For example, a representative of a local SPCA can meet with your child to discuss how they can help the animals and why they need help. Although children can understand the importance of charity, keep in mind that the less complex the cause, the easier it will be to get through to your child.
Provide A Reward
Charity and volunteering should always come from a place of giving, not from the expectation of a reward. However, there are some rewards that may be appropriate for a child who has just volunteered. Maybe you could make their favorite meal, or they can pick a movie to watch at home with the family. As long as it’s not money, toys, or dining out, you should be fine.
Additionally, you can set a limit to the rewards. For example, the first 5 times your child volunteers, they will get a reward. By the 5th time, your child may also gain some other fulfillment out of volunteering and may not need the reward to continue going. Just make sure your agreement is stated clearly up front.
Choose The Right Cause
Finally, it’s always important that you and your child choose the right cause to get involved with. As the parent, you can make a list of 5 charities that you think would be appropriate for your child. Then, let them choose the one they are most interested in. Some great options include volunteering at an animal shelter, playing games with the elderly at a local home, and doing yard work for a disabled neighbor. There are likely many options in your area, so be sure to choose a few varied options and let your child go from there.
Although it may be difficult to pull your child away from their regular activities, it is important to instill in them a spirit of giving. If you follow these three steps, your child is sure to find a cause they love volunteering for.