There is one sure path to making sure that you end up with a child who becomes a socially responsible adult and that is teaching them the importance of volunteering!
Kids are smart — they intuitively grasp concepts with speed most of us envy — and if you teach them from a young age they can grow up to do great things. It is really just a matter of getting them involved as soon as possible and helping them to grow into healthy adults who know the importance of helping others.
Lead By Example
The first thing that any parent should do is to lead their children to understand the nature of volunteering by example. This means that you will have to do some volunteering of your own, of course, but it also means sitting down and explaining why you do these things to your children.
If you spend some of your time volunteering and tell your kids about it, then you are off to a great start. Each time you head out, tell them about your day, about what you did, and how it made you feel.
If they can see the way it changes your life and how you help others, then they are much more likely to want to get involved.
Explain The Benefits
Some children might not see the advantages in spending their time helping others, especially with the bevy of entertainment options available in the modern world. Instead of forcing them out, show them how they are not just exchanging their time for nothing.
While the benefits of volunteering are rarely material, they are very real. Spending time volunteering can lead to improved self-esteem, a greater feeling of belonging in the community, and even result in improved health.
You should also show them that volunteering can be fun, whether it is just an afternoon in the spring sun during a park clean-up, spending time with animals while working with a shelter, or getting to paint during a community art project.
Helping others is great, but volunteering is also helping yourself at the end of the day!
Get Them Started
Getting them involved as soon as you can is probably the best way to make sure they develop a lasting love for volunteering. You would be surprised at how many ways there are for the young ones to help out.
With small, simple community projects it is easy to take the kids along. Have them come out with you and make a day of it, show them how much fun it can be and let them see that their actions have a direct impact on the world. Even if they are at the age where their help is mostly just bumbling, they will feel important at the end of the day since they have made a real impact in the world.
Rather than just teaching them, if you focus on getting your children actively involved as they get older they are sure to seek out their own opportunities to do some good with their time.
Whether they are volunteering at an animalrescue, working with a homeless shelter, or even getting ready to spend time volunteering abroad when they get out of high school, you will know for a fact that you have raised a child with an invested interest in changing the world!