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There are a few things in this world that I find to be absolutely crucial when it comes to raising children. Respect, discipline, and empathy are usually the top 3 things that I work hard to instill in my little beauties; especially in this world we are living in. I firmly believe that it is us, as parents, who mold our children into the type of human beings they will grow to be. This is only a small part of why our family chose homeschool as our journey. I wanted to ensure that my children received the best individual growth, something that i believe the public school lacks in encouraging. As we know so well, growing an individual is much more than providing an education. Growing a well-rounded human being and a compassionate heart involves so much more than anything books or facts can offer. I strongly believe that there is a great importance of encouraging volunteer work and instilling a love for giving.
Children are like plants
If you give them water and food, they will grow. They will do as they naturally do. However, if you nourish them, trim and train them, they will flourish into something beautiful. The same can be said of our children. A child will grow; they will reach their milestones and go through the phases as children in our culture do. But, if you give them something to feed on, something to grow and nourish their hearts, then children will truly blossom.
Here’s a little background story…
I have always verbally encouraged my children to put others first and to do good deeds for more than their own gain. In October, 2016 we were given an opportunity to really put these words into action. . A tragedy occurred within the law enforcement community near our home and we were compelled to do something; to show our support and give back. It was the that Sweet Treats For Heroes began, something our family hopes will become large organization in the future.
It was in these beginning moments that I witnessed my children gain a love for giving. The joy in their eyes so big as they learned to show gratitude for the work of others. We mourned with so many and my children worked so hard preparing thousands of treat bags with us; for no reason other than in an attempt to make some else’s day a little better.
But it didn’t stop there…
Now days, my children are older and more encouraged to better themselves. I quickly jumped at the opportunity of getting them more involved in the community. We began taking time to volunteer weekly at our local animal shelter. My girls loved it! My girls have spent time socializing animals, cleaning kennels, walking dogs, and gaining a better understanding about the well being of animals and their health.
Since the boys are much to young to join us, we also found a local food bank which accepted us all as volunteers every week. It has been So wonderful to watch all four of my children eagerly serving others in such a selfless manner. It is also a nice incentive for them to complete their lessons on time because – Education comes first. We have actually discussed as a family and are hoping to begin spending time at our local senior living facility, if volunteers are welcome.
So why should you encourage volunteer work?
- Children learn to give without expecting anything in return.
- It promotes discipline and respect for others, especially authority figures (bosses).
- Skills such as listening and following directions are strengthened.
- Time management skills are nourished.
- Volunteer work enhances team building skills..
- Children build a strong work ethic at a young age.
- Emotions such as compassion and empathy are formed.
- Social skills- kids learn to communicate with a wide variety of individuals.
- Builds strong and healthy life habits.
- Provides experience for future career goals (My daughter wants to be a veterinarian so the shelter is a great place to volunteer).
- Allows children to get creative and think about their future and goals.
- Looks great on college applications and resumes.
- You will forever cherish family time and experiences, as will your children.
- Children gain an understanding of what is importance in life.
Are you wondering how you can get started?
You can read an empowering experience from Angela @ Schooling With Grace as she talks about what got her family to begin a journey in volunteer work. She discusses Teaching our Children to have Servants hearts in a “Serve me” world, which is something we both believe is important when raising children. In her article, Angela also has laid out numerous ways in which your family can get started and some unique ways to volunteer.
Another beautiful read is by Poovanesh @ Family Growth Life. She beautifully lays out ways to Do Family Volunteering and the blessings it can bring a family. There is nothing like spending time together and “starting a family project where you give your time and skills to serve those in need. The payoff is in the feel-good factor.” Poovanesh discusses the many ways, in detail, in which to get your family involved and what your family can expect in return.
Whether it be a small act of kindness or some larger involvement, you can find ways to encourage volunteer work and really nourish your children; allowing them to grow into the best version of themselves.