Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Encourage Your Child to Volunteer This Summer

Now that school is out, parents will likely find themselves asking Now what?

You might travel as a family, or sign your child up for a summer camp, but you will want to consider how to make summer educational and meaningful as well as fun for your child.

As far as enriching summer options, the choices are endless. If you really want to bring meaning and growth to your child’s summer, encourage your child to volunteer.

Giving Back to the Community

Volunteering is all about giving your time and talents. For kids, the act of giving is vital for developing strong character qualities, including the ability to recognize and empathize with the needs of others and to give freely and without expecting anything in return. By developing these qualities, kids actually experience more personal success and do better in school – as well as build greater confidence and stronger friendships.

Growing as a Person

While some students may find comfort in the stable predictability of the school day, others may experience the burnout that comes from too much repetition. A summer volunteering experience is a perfect way for your children to break the routine and explore something out of the ordinary. Some students simply don’t learn best while confined indoors for long stretches. Volunteering will give students the opportunity to learn and explore while standing up, moving around and interacting more freely than is often the case at school.

In addition to getting out and about, students will grow from interacting with people from different generations, socio-economic backgrounds, and general life circumstances. They are likely to cross paths with people they otherwise wouldn’t have met if it hadn’t been for volunteering. They might learn about what life was like a long time ago from an elderly person they are helping, or perhaps, about customs and culture in another part of a world from an immigrant in the community.

Learn New Skills or Perfect Existing Ones

Although volunteering is about giving, you often receive more than you give in the end. This receiving may come in the form of new friendships, new-found inner strength, and in learning new skills. Some such skills will be tangible like learning or improving a musical talent, while others will be a little more abstract, like a stronger sense of self, better communication skills, and the ability to work better in a group setting order to achieve a common goal.

Help your kids get the most out of their summer break by giving back. Volunteering is the perfect way to grow, learn, and - yes - have fun. Not only that, but they’ll get plenty of practice for their school fundraisers!

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