Sue Scheff: Encouraging your teens to volunteer

This is the season of sharing and caring about others in your community. American teenagers are participating more than many would believe. According to the latest Harris Poll 56 percent of teens are out in their communities volunteering.

As a Parent Advocate and Founder of Parents Universal Resource Experts, we constantly encourage parents to get their teens involved in giving back – volunteering and simply building their self worth through time spent helping others. Especially with the holiday school break, encourage your kids to get involved. Click here for some great ideas to do as a family.

Recently Connect with Kids listed some parenting tips to help you get your teen involved.

What can be done to help improve the ethics of children and to make them more thoughtful and generous? The National Network for Child Care says responsive parents and teachers “can lead children away from materialism.” The following suggestions will help strengthen children’s self-esteem and sharing abilities:

  • Model sharing and giving: Your kindness and willingness to share with your children encourages them to do the same.
  • Recognize children’s spontaneous gestures of sharing: Emphasize the results of their kindness to others.
  • Recognize the many ways children share: They may invite someone to join them in playing with a toy they with which they are already playing. They may loan a child something. Or they may give something permanently to another child, like a cookie.
  • Help children develop a healthy sense of ownership, and give them opportunities to share special belongings: Encourage children to talk about how the belongings are used and enjoyed.
  • Give children the choice to share or be generous: “Forced” sharing and generosity can build an atmosphere of resentment. When forced to share, it is less likely that children will offer kindness on their own.

Remember that children’s attitudes often reflect the teachings of their parents.

Can troubled teens make a difference too? >>>>>> Read more.