According to Peter Levine, the director of Tufts University Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning, children who volunteer are more successful in school and more likely to graduate from high school and college. Now, I’m no professional like Mr. Levine but from experience I do believe volunteering could make or break a prospective impact in the proper development of a leader. Here are my top 5 reasons why I believe everyone all parents/guardians should have their kids volunteer on a regular basis (when they’re of age to understand):
1. Volunteering teaches our children to learn to appreciate what they have even more. It is VERY difficult to raise selfless children in the materialistic world we live in now. Volunteerism enables them to learn to appreciate what they have, to make more sacrifices and be kind to others. Unfortunately modern day children need to SEE some things just to believe them and its our responsibility to provide these lessons. Although we teach them to the best of our ability, why wouldn’t we want additional action to enforce the effectiveness of what we’ve already taught them?
2. These opportunities help them learn how to find resolutions. When volunteering, children learn how to make wise decisions and take action as opposed to complaining about what “needs to change” or falling into that typical role of self-pitying victimization that cripples the majority of our people today. Volunteering shows the next generation how to “Be the change they wish to see in the world” –Mahatma Gandhi
3. Taking the time to volunteer with your children strengthens your bond. What better way to spend time with your family than by doing something positive and leading by example? The parenting high you will get off of this valuable time together is WORTH the sacrifice and I promise you, your child will NEVER forget it.
4. Job skills and responsibility. Volunteering also sharpens their sense of responsibility and gives them some of the dedication and job skills that will be necessary in their development into an adult. It teaches them more about patience, dedication, tenacity, taking the incentive and hard work. Their future employer will thank you for it as well as their future clients when they become an entrepreneur.
5. Children are POWERFUL. Let them be such. Their presence alone can brighten a room at the nursing home of an elderly resident and restore a piece of their youth. Kids can make a difference in their very own community and this in turn will help them realize the potential and impact of self. Most kids believe because they’re so young or small that their ability can’t be great enough to make a difference. After volunteering they feel empowered, sufficient, able and they realize a helping hand is NEVER too small!