by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Do your kids know what it feels like to volunteer? Do they have a helping spirit? If not, it's never too late to get them started. It starts right at home. I've always been a firm believer in helping people. I have to give my mom credit for setting a good example. Now that I have kids of my own, I try my best to teach them how to volunteer and help other people.
Volunteer Often and Bring Them Along
If kids see you volunteering, it will be a good example for paving their way to do the same. When possible you can even bring them along to see what you do. Even if they cannot come along on your particular mission, let them know what you are doing. You can even take pictures when allowed and create a scrapbook for them to illustrate some of your volunteering duties.
Read Books about Volunteering
The local library is a good place to find books on volunteerism. There will be an ample selection to choose from often. Remember that if the particular book you want is not available, most libraries will allow you to request it. If kids see the theme of being a volunteer not only in their own home, but in books as well, it can further solidify the lesson.
Watch Movies and Television Shows that Include Volunteerism
When kids can physically see others getting active and helping out, it can make all the difference. This is true for observing it firsthand. But when it trickles into other things, such as movies and television, it really sends the message. Of course, they shouldn't only watch it on TV, but in combination with other efforts, movies can be an excellent resource.
Donate to Charities
This may seem obvious, but donating to charities can really drive home the spirit of volunteerism in children. As with most things, teaching is about doing. It's true that donating and volunteering are not the same thing. But they are closely related. A giving spirit in general is a huge stepping stone along the road to a love for volunteerism.
Being Kind to Others
In addition to doing things directly related to volunteerism, indirect actions can also be useful. Teach kids to be respectful and helpful toward others. This will lead to a natural love and compassion toward helpfulness. If someone is carrying groceries into the house and needs help, you and the kids can offer to help. Someone may be crossing the street with difficult. Lend a hand. Take every opportunity to help people and teach the kids to do the same. This will inevitably lead to them wanting to volunteer and make a difference in a more official capacity.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
In order for tweens to be ready to start their first job as teens, they need practice. But without actually being able to work, how can they get that practice? As a parent, there are a variety of ways I help to cultivate career skills in my tweens. From household responsibilities, to volunteering, playing games, and more, get proactive in developing your tween's career skills today. They may not be thrilled with some of these ideas at first. But in time they will grow to love them and thank you in the future.
Get tweens involved in activities and clubs.
This is a simple way to teach your tween the teamwork it takes to succeed in their future career. It also can teach organizational and leadership skills. Recreational sports, dance, drama, band, choir, science, and other educational clubs and activities are available in most areas. Check with your child's school or homeschool group first. If the programs don't exist there, private organizations and churches often offer many activities.
Volunteer programs can help encourage and enhance career skills.
From helping the elderly, to feeding the homeless, caring for animals, and more, tweens can get involved in many volunteer programs. Call around to various organizations in your area to see who needs help. Remember to ask about age requirements. Not all organizations or opportunities are available to minors. Some also may require that an adult volunteer along with the tween. This can actually be good, as it gives you and your child some rewarding time together. Teaching kids to volunteer not only gives them valuable career experience, but also helps encourage compassion.
Let them take charge of certain things at home.
Responsibility starts at home. Chores and other household tasks teach your child important career skills that can be used throughout life. I like to treat my kids as team members and let them help in certain household decisions. Although this is not a job, it does help kids prepare for making choices in life, which strongly applies to career-related skills. Deciphering choices that lead to certain outcomes is a much-desired trait in the workforce, as is the ability to be part of a collaborative team. Being a 'mommy's helper' and watching over younger siblings and even pets is one way tweens can take charge. Just be sure they know the rules and also have proper supervision.
Family field trips geared toward interest can help cultivate skills.
No matter what your child is interested in doing as a career, there is always a related destination. Even if your child changes career thoughts often, it's still possible. For instance, if your tween wants to be a firefighter, visit the local firehouse. Some cities even have firefighter museums. If your child wants to work with animals, visit local shelters, zoos, and wildlife reserves. The main idea is to enrich your child's life with various activities and destinations that may enhance her career choice. Even if your tween changes her mind about career directions, the field trips will still add to overall experience.
Educational books and other media are useful.
Surround your child with opportunities to read books related to his career and life interests. If books are easy to access, even kids who do not prefer to read will eventually start picking them up. Also offer a variety of educational computer games, movies, and TV shows to show from. While it's not a good idea for a child to watch TV or play on the computer all day long, in moderation, these things can be good. When a child enjoys doing something, it can be easier for the knowledge to sink in, which is always a good thing.
*I originally publised this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans network. She is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! Running a network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is her top priority.
While rescuing civilians from boring content and brands, this awesomely crazy family conquers the world, managing Intent-sive Nature while going on Upstream Parenting adventures & lessons, sometimes in an RV. They strive to cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they settle for rescue dogs and cats.
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