Raising children to be kind, empathetic, and contributing members of society needs to start at a very young age. Children’s minds are like sponges that soak up everything they see, hear and learn. The earlier you get them involved in activities that will positively impact society, the more kindness and empathy are ingrained into their makeup. Kindness starts early in life. So does social awareness.
There are many activities you and your children can do that will have lasting positive impacts on our planet and society. Whether you want them involved in saving the environment, feeding the poor, or helping kids with learning disabilities, there are programs and activities for you to join.
How To Get Them Started
Be a role model
Children will always look to their parents for guidance. So be an excellent example of what a socially conscious person is. Start by volunteering your time in various social programs your area might have. When your kids see that you volunteer, they might get into it.
Listen to their interests
Your kids will enjoy volunteering more if it involves something that interests them. Find something that caters to your children’s interests, and you might find them willingly joining community volunteer activities. Make volunteering fun.
You don’t have to go big on your first activity. You could do something as small as teaching your children about throwing trash in the proper receptacles. Or recycling. Or saving energy by teaching them to turn off lights that are not in use. Something that could be done at home to help build social and environmental awareness in your children. Once those habits are established, it will be easier to get a little bigger, like picking up trash in the neighborhood. And then eventually volunteering for large-scale cleanups. Small steps lead to bigger things.
Make it a part of your weekly schedule. For example, maybe take two hours on a Sunday to volunteer at the senior center with your children. Or volunteer at the soup kitchen on holidays. Jot it down in your family calendar and keep those volunteering appointments. These activities will soon become a part of your everyday life.
There are many activities within your community that need volunteers. You can ask around or visit your community center to see what activities fit your schedule and skill set. Or you can search the web for activities within your neighborhood that you and your children are interested in joining. These activities are also an excellent way to learn new skills.
Involve the kids in decision making
For your children to enjoy volunteering, involve them in choosing what and when to volunteer. Maybe they are interested in plants and would prefer if your family joins tree-planting activities. Maybe one of your kids is good at art and can volunteer for activities that involve their skills. You can build your volunteering schedule around their interests to get them more involved.
Social Impact Activities For You And Your Kids
Volunteer at the animal shelter
If your area has animal shelters, they probably need volunteers to help take care of the animals. This will teach your kids to be responsible pet owners, should they be inclined to have pets. They will learn how to care for animals, what and when to feed them, and the importance of keeping pets healthy. This will also learn to be gentle and respectful of animals. At the same time, they are helping your neighborhood by keeping stray animals off the streets and making sure they are healthy and well-fed. This saves the animals and keeps people safe, at the same time. Being around animals has also been proven to be good for people mentally and emotionally.
Money is not the only thing that you can donate. For example, if your kids have toys they no longer play with, clothes they have outgrown, and books they don’t read anymore, they can be donated. You can also “donate” your time and skills to various activities like cleanup drives and volunteering in your local community garden.
Some local groups will hold bake sales or fun runs to bring awareness to specific social issues. At the same time, these activities are also a way to gather donations from the community. These activities are fun for everyone. You can have fun physical activities plus homemade goods while also helping out and learning more about different social causes.
Some communities have programs that involve teaching kids to read. This is something your children can do. There are social platforms like Tribes For Good that help kids and adults alike to contribute meaningfully to society. Tribes For Good works on four key areas, namely financial inclusion, gender justice, education, and youth employability.
Children learn from their parents. So if you want your children to grow up to be socially conscious and kind individuals, that needs to start with you. You and your family can do many activities to volunteer and help your community. All it takes is just one small step forward.