The goal of many parents is to teach their children to be empathetic, compassionate and productive members of society. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is by getting kids involved in their community. Not only will it help them learn more about the world that surrounds them, but it will also foster important skills that will last a lifetime.
There are plenty of ways that kids can serve their community that will not only benefit others, but will benefit them, too!
A great way for kids (and their parents) to serve the community is by volunteering. Of course, it helps others, but it also provides a wealth of other benefits.
Volunteering can strengthen the family bond and encourage the development of communication and interpersonal skills. Plus, it just makes you feel good. When you give to others, you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Children feel a sense of purpose and happiness as they connect with others in a meaningful way.
Whether it’s at a local food pantry, a nursing home or offering to help neighbors that are in need, there’s so much that children can gain when they volunteer.
Clean Up a Local Park
Kids love spending time at the park, but their enjoyment can be marred when they see that it’s littered with garbage and graffiti.
Instead of finding another park to go to, encourage children to help clean up the space. Doing so will not only benefit them, but it will also benefit other neighborhood children. Bring along trash bags, gloves and any other equipment that would come in useful. Ask friends to chip in and lend a hand.
Your children will love knowing that they played a part in beautifying a space that they—and their entire community—enjoy using.
Encourage Water Conservation
Conserving water is another excellent way to encourage kids to help their community on a much larger scale. Their local community will benefit from their efforts, and so will the planet.
Teaching your kids to conserve water starts at home. Encourage them to reduce their water consumption in the following ways:
Turn off the water while brushing their teeth
Take shorter showers (set timers, if it helps)
Make sure faucets are tight when turned off
Use “recycled water” to water the grass and gardens—use any water left in water bottles, water that was used to boil pasta (after it cools), collect rainwater in containers, etc.
Offer Skills to Others
Children of all ages have valuable skills that they can offer to others. Whether it’s pulling weeds in a neighbor’s garden, reading books, playing a musical instrument, or offering to go grocery shopping for someone who is elderly or disabled, there are so many ways that kids can help others. They can offer their services free-of-charge and do so much good for someone else.
By encouraging your kids to take an active part in their local community, they can learn invaluable skills and gain a true understanding of the impact they can make in the global community.
This article originally appeared here.