Get Closer As A Family By Volunteering
It was National Volunteering Week last week, and it got us thinking about how important it is to instill the value of volunteering in your children. Volunteering as a family has so many benefits for you and your kids, and will help your family bond. With the summer holidays coming up, volunteering can be a great way to spend a few days over the course of those months.
The Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering not only allows you to give back to a cause close to your heart, or your local community but it can also teach your children valuable life lessons. In some parts of the world, volunteering is required for young people to graduate from school. Whilst this is a requirement, it’s good to show your child that volunteering is not a chore, and should be approached with a positive attitude. Some of the benefits to volunteering for your child, and your family as a whole include:
Better Communication - A lot of volunteering involves being part of a team and learning how to work together. All of this will lead to your family improving their communication skills.
Interpersonal Skills - Volunteering comes with responsibility, and can teach your child how to work with and communicate with people they may not know very well.
See each other differently - Taking the family unit out of your typical environment allows you all to see each other in a different way. Your children can also pick up valuable life skills from watching you in this new environment.
Teaches responsibility - Volunteering teaches your child about being responsible, as well as empathy.
Grounds you - We can often get swept up in the hustle and bustle of life these days, taking time out of your day to volunteer can help ground you and your family. Putting life into perspective by taking yourself out of your daily life routine can be very beneficial.
Friendship - Volunteering is a great way for you and your family to connect with other people who may have similar interests to you.
Ways to Volunteer
So now you know why you and your family should be volunteering, you might be wondering how you can go about volunteering. Volunteer Ireland offers a range of resources when it comes to volunteering. We have some ideas that are suitable for the family!
What sounds more kid friendly than volunteering at an animal shelter? From playing with kittens to walking dogs, there’s surely an animal shelter near you that could use your help. It’s not all cuddling cats though, you’ll probably be needed to help clean up, clear out kennels, or feed the animals. Helping to care for animals will instill a great sense of responsibility and empathy in your children.
A lot of research has been done into the benefits of young children and elderly people forming a connection. If you have an older relative in a nursing home, or an elderly family member or friend who lives themselves, organise to visit them with your children. They will be grateful you paid them a visit. You and your older children could look into volunteering at nursing homes, Age Action is a great charity for this. Check here on how you can get involved.
The environment and our planets well being should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds these days. Younger people should be taught the benefits of recycling, composting etc as this is the planet they will inherit. Go one step further and look into any environmentally friendly volunteering opportunities. Helping to organise or just help out at a beach clean up is always a great idea. If you don’t live near a beach, consider your local park or any other recreational areas.