Surely you have seen many volunteer campaigns on social networks or near your neighborhood, for various causes: food, health, construction, animal rescue, etc. Multidisciplinary professionals participate in all of them, but also people who want to contribute a grain of sand in favor of contributing with a difference that benefits others. Like adults, children can also volunteer. Therefore, here are some tips to encourage your children to volunteer.
Programs such as boys or girls scouts, charity activities, holiday camps ... There are different initiatives that promote volunteering among the little ones. And it is that, in addition to helping others, the fact that children participate in volunteering also has benefits for them:
- Volunteers can teach children different skills or new capacities, which helps their integral formation.
- We educate in values as important as solidarity or generosity.
- These activities also change your social and interpersonal relationships.
- It is an opportunity to work on emotional intelligence.
- The more contact children have with social causes, the greater sensitivity and empathy they can develop in the future.
- In addition, this also helps children from an early age to appreciate things in a way that they will not do in any other circumstance, since they have a real contact with the multiple situations of other children, families, people or animals that are in disadvantage. What helps to form the character and the way to face the world.
- Volunteering encourages autonomy and responsibility.
Many parents are terrified of the idea that their children may face too difficult situations in volunteering that they decide to do. It is certainly an environment from which every parent wants to protect their child, but it is also not healthy to have them enclosed in a pink glass bubble and that they ignore other realities to which sooner or later they may be exposed. It is preferable that they can face these situations, with the guidance of experts, other volunteers and the parents themselves, who play the role of companions and avoid a sudden impact.
This helps children to better understand the importance of their participation in this type of social work, instead of training as frivolous young people and unaware of the problems that surround the world.
Another benefit they present is that, if at some point, they find themselves involved in a similar situation, they can have the appropriate tools to solve it or they can count on future support from those they supported.
Once we are clear that the participation of children in the different volunteers is positive, how can we encourage them to carry out these solidarity activities? We give you some tips below:
1. Lead by example
Of course, one of the best ways to encourage children to be part of a volunteer service is for you, as a parent, to take the first step and get involved, especially one where you can contribute together to a cause. Thus, work will be even more fun and your child can have a more complete learning.
Be proactive and lead your child to find out about causes in non-profit institutions, nursing homes, public schools or other organizations where both can be volunteers and over time you will see that your child will become infected with that motivation to act for their own account.
2. Contribute to the community
Whether it is organizing rounds to clean the streets, collect garbage, plant trees, take care of the environment, carry out sports or dynamic activities to entertain young people and adults, etc. Communities always need the contribution of their neighbors in multiple activities that you can do with your little one.
3. Create your own cause
You don't have to wait to join an organization to contribute to a social cause with your children. You can motivate your children to make sales, through harvests or crafts and raise money to donate to a charity, school, community library, hospitals, nursing home, animal shelter, environmental causes.
You can also teach him the importance of donating all those things that he no longer uses such as clothes, toys, books, etc. What they may see as worthless may be the treasure that another person will appreciate with all their heart.
4. Offer your knowledge
A good way to provide a social service is by offering your knowledge to others and this is a great activity to include your children, since they can also offer their knowledge and also learn from others. Through private classes, teaching other languages, sports activities, drawing classes, planting and environmental care, etc.
5. Contribute to small causes
Being a volunteer is not always synonymous with belonging to some organization or a massive special action. Rather, we can contribute to a significant change with small things that brighten the day and those are the causes that are most appreciated and those that leave a great teaching to the little ones to be responsible and exemplary adults.
These activities are to contribute with others in the day to day, for example: Teach your child to help with the cleaning of the home, to take care of the garden and green spaces, not to mistreat the animals, to help the teacher in the classroom, explaining to a classmate something they do not understand, reading stories to younger children, accompanying a classmate who is teased, defending what is correct and denouncing what is incorrect and having manners that they want to teach others, etc.
The best volunteers are those who leave us a positive impact, not only those we help but also ourselves.
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