This post is contributed by Heather of The Brown Table.
Teaching Kids To Serve Others
Teaching kids to read and write is tough. Teaching them to be compassionate and willing to serve others? That’s a whole other ball game. So, why should I bother?
It’s satisfying! Helping others naturally feels good, and creates a positive environment geared towards selflessness.
Volunteering personal time teaches kids responsibility. This type of commitment can be easily learned at an early age by choosing to help them serve with you consistently.
Acceptance of others is sure to be learned by serving others in your local community. By visiting nursing homes, children’s hospitals, or simply a neighbor, children will learn that people should be treated the same regardless of race, color, religion, age, etc.
It builds up your community. By showing support for your community, you are bonding with others to create a strong local group of people committed to positively influencing their world.
It can bring your family closer together. By involving your kids in community service, you are spending quality time that not only helps others, but helps your family grow together as a solid unit.
Teach Kids to Serve Others By Example
The best way to start showing your kid the joy of service is to participate yourself! Children learn by example, and the greatest way to pique their interest is by being involved yourself in community service – and enjoying it. If you don’t enjoy serving others, your children won’t either.
Yesterday, my husband jumped out of our car to help our neighbor push their car up the driveway because its battery died. This is a very simple and non-committal way to start involving yourself in the community. Kids can start the same way! By sharing toys with neighbor kids, or helping someone who fell off their bike, a child can experience that satisfaction of helping someone out.
My son LOVES it when he can help somebody else. Though he is only 4, the look on his face when a friend says “Thank You” is priceless. I can see the desperation in his eyes as he tries to figure out how to help his friend again!
15 Ways Kids Can Serve Others
There are a myriad of ways to get your kids involved! The following service activities are great for the little and big kiddos in your life:
Bring flowers to people in a nursing home.
Pick up all the trash at your local park.
Clean your elderly neighbor’s yard.
Read a book to a younger child, or even an older neighbor who could use a regular visitor!
Decorate Pillowcases and bring them to children in a Children’s Hospital!
Write a Thank-you note to person who cleans your church.
Gather gently used children’s books and donate the books to a preschool, after-school program, or even a Boys & Girls Clubtm .
Hold a yard sale that’s free!
Serve in a food bank or soup kitchen.
Plant a tree or a garden in the neighborhood.
Gather canned goods for your local church food bank.
Volunteer for a local church VBS (Vacation Bible School) This is a great way to have your kids helping other kids!
Collect clothes, shoes, or toys and deliver to a shelter for the needy.
Ask if someone needs help!
Get Out There And Serve!
There are so many other ways to get your kids involved in service; get together with your local community and find out what people are doing. If a cause or community that you hold close to your heart is throwing a fundraiser or celebratory party, ask if you and your little one can help out throughout the event; your child will feel important as he or she passes out programs or helps with wristbands at the door (use a simple make like Tyvek that doesn’t require too much dexterity to apply). Merely making you and your family available is the first step in showing your kids thoughtfulness and concern for others.
So grab your kiddos, get outside, and dish up some homemade service!
Heather Aguayo is a wife, mother, and part-time writer. Forever dubbed as “Tall Chic” and “Grammar Queen” by those who know her, she loves to read, write, play with her 4 year old son, and find new ways to grow her family. You can check out her latest adventures atrettsbrowntable.blogspot.com
What ways are you out and about in your community? What kinds of ways do you and your kids serve others?
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