With modern society posing unprecedented opportunities for kids to go astray, parents often worry about how they can teach their children to be caring and responsible young people.
In addition to providing them with structured discipline at home, many parents today are opting to enroll their children in volunteer programs that are designed to teach adolescents and teenagers about civic responsibility and compassion for those in need.
As parents consider whether or not these opportunities are right for their children, they may decide in these programs’ favor by considering the unique benefits they provide to children and teens. When they allow their children to volunteer in the community, parents help their children reap these lifelong benefits.
Foresight and Responsibility
Many kids today enjoy convenient and easy lifestyles. Their parents may take care of everything in the house, thus relieving these young individuals of any stress or worry about their immediate futures. However, children who fail to learn the importance of using foresight and responsibility often end up in need of social service programs when they are adults.
When teens and young adolescents volunteer in the community, they learn how to be responsible and how using foresight about their own lives can prevent them from experiencing difficult financial and emotional circumstances later when they are adults.
Compassion and Empathy
Teenagers tend to be self-centered by nature. Even so, parents can help their children grow out of their self-centeredness by encouraging them to volunteer with local programs that feed the hungry, house the poor, and provide clothing and medical help to those in need.
When young people volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen, they may realize that they are in fact quite fortunate and that they can make a difference in the lives of others who perhaps have more difficult lives. They learn to be empathetic and show compassion toward others in need and appreciate their own lives more.
Resolve and Wisdom
Volunteering in the community can give teens and pre-teens the resolve to avoid the temptations to which their peers succumb regularly. When they are presented with the opportunity to drink, do drugs, or otherwise break the law, these individuals may have the strength to tell their friends and peers no and to turn away from that path in life.
By volunteering with local programs, these young people may realize their own capabilities and want to do more with their lives when they see firsthand the difference they make in other people’s lives. Whether their interest might be working with disabled children or hunger volunteer opportunities in your community, studies have shown that teenagers who volunteer in the community often go on to lead more productive and successful lives.
Where to Find Opportunities
Even as parents want to enroll their children in these volunteer programs, they may wonder where they can find these opportunities. They can find the best opportunities for their teens and pre-teens by looking online.
They can visit a website that tailors their search according to their local area and volunteer goals. They can check out the programs that let people volunteer with food banks and other hunger programs, as well as medical or educational programs for those in need.
When parents want to teach their kids the values in life that they will need to succeed, these people may allow their children to volunteer in the community. By volunteering and helping those in need, children will reap unique benefits that will last throughout their lives.
As a homeschooling mother, with a 17 year old who volunteers her time with young children as part of her school curriculum, Lisa Coleman supports and implements community service within her own children’s lives. She writes to share the benefits it can have for yours. She recently read about hunger volunteer opportunities online that can benefit our youth.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fmsc/7733219396/