Monday, August 31, 2009

Guest Blogger: 10 Easy Ways to Get Kids Involved in Community Service

So we're starting a new feature to the team tish blog- guest blogging! Today, our guest blogger is Donna Scott, who writes about online-based higher education here.

Cultivating a tradition and commitment to community service can teach your family and your children valuable lessons in responsibility, professionalism, compassion, and even ethics. And even though kids enjoy playing video games, going to the movies and spending time with their own friends, it’s not hard to introduce them to the mutually beneficial attributes of volunteer work. Here are 10 easy ways to get your kids involved in community service.

1. Pick a cause they’re interested in. If your child is an animal lover, don’t bring him or her to community garden project: take them to the animal shelter to help with pet adoptions.

2. Allow them to invite their friends. As a child, everything is more fun if kids their age are involved. Invite friends or neighbors to participate as well.

3. Keep up a schedule. It’s easier for kids to become used to volunteer work if they participate regularly, so set up a weekly or monthly schedule.

4. Don’t over do it. Young kids especially can get burned out on hard work or feel anxious or upset if they’re exposed to community service projects that require a certain level of maturity.

5. Keep them active. Sign up your kids to walk in a race to raise money for cancer research or work on a project that includes a lot of outdoor time.

6. Help them understand the cause. By explaining to your child the overall significance of the project, they’ll be more likely to feel useful and enthusiastic about helping.

7. Adopt a positive attitude. Your children will ultimately adopt your attitudes about volunteer work, so always try to keep a positive attitude about what you’re doing.

8. Help them relate to the project. Show your children how helping the community on this particular project directly impacts their lives, too.

9. Give positive feedback. Reward your children for helping the community and doing the right thing by taking them out for treats and praising their work.

10. Ask for their feedback. Consistently monitor your children’s reactions to the volunteer work they’re doing. You’ll want to evaluate the mental and emotional stresses of the work, as well as physical effects, their interest level and any questions they have about community service.

Donna Scott welcomes your feedback at

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