If you are interested in spending quality time with your child (or children) while also teaching them the value of altruism, try these ideas on how you can give back to your community alongside your children.
Visit Retirement Homes
If there are a lot of people in your community who are reaching retirement or living in an assisted living facility, it might be a good idea to schedule a visit once a month or so. Individuals who reside in retirement homes or who are staying in assisted living facilities might not get a lot of visitors, even from their own children or family. This is your opportunity to teach your child the importance of respecting your elders, regardless of their age or mental state.
If your child likes to draw, ask them to draw or paint pictures to hand out at the retirement homes. Or if they play an instrument, they could put on a mini-concert! It’s not only healthy for your child to interact with people many years their senior, it is a real treat for senior citizens to have visits from younger people, it is often the highlight of their day!
Volunteer At A Soup Kitchen
Depending on the age of your child, they might not realize that a lot of people do not have the privilege of eating three square meals per day, plus snacks! By volunteering your time, you can serve hot meals at a soup kitchen on the weekends. This will likely push your child outside of their usual comfort zone and will encourage them to engage in conversation with people from all walks of life.
They will learn to have compassion for others and to practice gratitude for the things that we often take for granted, such as having a full belly. Your local soup kitchens receive a lot of volunteers around the winter holidays but few people think to volunteer in the spring and summer. Contact your local soup kitchen to see when they need the most help and ready your aprons and ladles!
Hands-On Community Beautification
It might sound like manual labor but community beautification can look like a lot of things! It can consist of less appealing jobs like picking up trash in your local parks but it can also be tending to a community garden or helping the city council design a new mural. Implementing your child in these sorts of activities will help them see the power communities can have in numbers. It also sets a good example by demonstrating what teamwork and positive collaboration can look like. Whatever the project, get your child involved and teach them about working together along the way!