Should Your Child Volunteer?
When a young person learns to give of themselves through community service, they begin a life long association with the value and discipline of doing something positive for others as an ongoing and normal part of their role as a responsible human being.
Not only will your child build new life skills and knowledge, your child will also become engaged in seeing beyond their own nose… placing importance and value on the circumstances of others, developing empathy and consistency of commitment.
Social benefits include developing a heightened social awareness, bonds with the population being served and a sense that we are all responsible not only to ourselves, but to each other.
Psychologically, young people develop a sense of life-satisfaction and a general sense of being valued. Those who have felt depressed or unsureness of their place in society can also develop a sense of belonging and responsibility.
Cognitively, the very act of volunteering will help a young person to have new experiences that may be foreign to them, thus building inquisitiveness and sense of challenge. Add to this the increase communication skills and interpersonal relationship skills they will gain, their futures will be positively impacted.
There are many practical aspects as well… network development, resume building, references, and learning from others outside their normal or everyday existence. Start planting the seeds now by talking about what interests outside their usual “normal” might be engaging. Gradually build up to visiting a few places. Do some research and note when the light bulb goes on in their mind (or on the face). You’ll be doing great parenting by helping to make this happen for them.