Of all of the life skills you teach your children, volunteering should be near the top. Volunteering encompasses a wide variety of skills and teaches your children important life lessons.
When someone volunteers, both the people receiving help and those giving it obtain great rewards. Encourage your kids to step away from life’s demands and screens, and get them involved in a volunteering program.
Here are nine reasons why all parents should teach their kids to volunteer.
1. Helps Develop Social Skills
Some children struggle more than others with social skills, and that can be worrisome for parents. If your child is shy, they may have a more challenging time making friends. Involve your child in volunteering so they can more easily develop social skills that will last a lifetime.
When your child volunteers, they’ll be put into a group of like-minded individuals who are all working together towards a common goal. It makes it easier for them to talk about their interests and skills, and they will likely make new friends.
Volunteers and those being helped come from a variety of backgrounds. Teaching your kids to volunteer will allow them to meet so many different people of different ages, races and social statuses.
2. Gets Them Involved in the Community
Whenever your child is involved in the local community, they can see the direct impact their volunteer efforts have made. Your child can build strong ties with others in your community.
Also, community involvement will help your children appreciate all that the town has to offer. Because volunteering creates social ties, your child will be more likely to continue to give back to the community as an adult and may even be more inclined to stay in the town rather than moving miles away.
3. Teaches Responsibility
Responsibility is something that every parent wants their kid to learn. Volunteering is a great way to pass that trait to your children.
When your child volunteers, they’ll be given a specific task to accomplish. Your child will learn to be responsible because it’s up to them to complete it — no one else is doing it for them. Both the volunteer team and the people they’re helping rely on your child to do their part. They’ll be able to use their unique talents and gifts to benefit others.
4. Benefits Health
Volunteer organizations often provide opportunities that benefit physical health because the tasks keep participants active. Children tend to be quite busy at a young age, but they may not be as physically active as they get older, especially if they aren’t interested in sports or other physical activities.
Volunteering often keeps you on your feet and keeps you moving. When your child volunteers, they may not even realize they’re physically benefiting because they’ll be focused on the task at hand, like collecting trash or gardening.
Besides physical health, volunteering benefits mental health as well. Studies have shown the long term positive effects of volunteering. If you begin teaching your child to volunteer now, later on, they will be happier and more satisfied with their life.
5. Strengthens Family Relationships
If you’re going to teach your kids to volunteer, you should probably be volunteering alongside them. Your children watch everything that you do, so the best way to teach them to volunteer is to volunteer as a family!
The bonds with your children will strengthen when you volunteer together. You’ll collectively learn how to work together and can share the memory of volunteering for years to come. Your family will also be able to spend more quality time together, and you can learn new things about one another.
6. Adds to a Resume
Any mention of volunteering on a resume will always look good to college administrators and employers. This lets them know that your child is responsible and values giving back to communities in need.
However, this shouldn’t be the only reason you teach your kids to volunteer. It’s just an added benefit!
7. It’s Fun
Volunteer work is an overall fun activity. Your kids can make new friends and get messy every once in a while for a good cause.
Many volunteer organizations will have kid-friendly programs. Early on, your kids will recognize that the work they’re doing can be enjoyable, especially when the program is suited to their age.
8. Teaches Gratitude
Volunteering allows your children to be more appreciative of what they have and of their health. Likely, they’ll meet others who don’t have as much as they do.
Children have a more challenging time understanding that people are in financial or family situations unlike their own. When they are directly involved in volunteer efforts, they have the chance to talk to underprivileged individuals and see impoverished communities.
They’ll return more grateful for what you have provided for them.
9. Makes Them Feel Accomplished
At any age, volunteering will make you feel like you have accomplished something. You work hours on a project that leads to making a difference in the lives of others.
The positive experience children have while volunteering will make them want to continue to volunteer. They begin to realize that their work has meaning.
Your Kids Could Change the World
The number of benefits that come with volunteering is endless. Teaching your kids to volunteer will make a positive impact on the rest of their lives.
You never know — your child could be the one who changes the world because you taught them to volunteer!