There’s something about volunteering for community service that melts your insides and makes you feel soft and warm all over. Maybe it’s the fact that you’re not expecting anything in return for what you’re doing; maybe it’s just the thrill of being able to make a difference in someone’s life; or maybe it’s just that you find yourself spending your time in a worthwhile manner. Whatever the reason, community service gives back to you as much as you do for the community, in terms of emotional fulfillment. So it’s only natural that you should get your children involved too, because their lives are going to be enriched by helping other people. There are various advantages to be gained by roping your kids into helping out in the community, some of which are:
- They develop a sense of WE rather than I: Children are born thinking only about themselves and remain that way till they’re able to reason and think for themselves. Community service helps them understand the value of thinking about other people, about putting their needs before our own, and about the need to be less selfish and more generous with what we have. Children learn how to share, both on a physical and an emotional level, when they’re exposed to community service at an early age.
- They understand the problems that are a part of our world: It’s not easy to teach our children about poverty, illiteracy and homelessness, some of the few problems that exist in today’s society, when they have all the food they want, go to the best schools and live in comfortable homes with their own rooms. Community service helps them understand that there are people who are not as fortunate as we are, and that we need to open our hearts and our minds in order to help them in any way we can.
- They realize how fortunate they are: It’s tough to make your child realize the futility and stupidity of wasting food when there are millions of children starving all over the world. But if they see people who are less fortunate than they are, they will be less inclined to complain about their perceived woes in life.
- They utilize their time usefully: Community service is a good way to use free time. It also helps you bond with your kids outside your home and spend more time with them. If your kids are with you, it becomes a family affair, something the whole family can do together on a particular day of the week or over the weekend.
- They pick up new skills and discover hidden talents: If your child is a born organizer, the fact is going to be revealed when they work as part of a team and take on leadership responsibilities during community service. They discover other talents as well, like learning how to get along with other people and communicate effectively, qualities that will stand them in good stead when they become adults.
This post was contributed by Courtney Phillips, who writes about ranking of community colleges. She welcomes your feedback at CourtneyPhillips80 at gmail.com. Courtney taught for two years before becoming interested in writing full time for various online publications relating to education, nursing, and health. She writes her articles from knowledge through past experiences, research, and learned information.