If it takes a village to raise a child, you should be a big part of that village.
Although you may not be the mayor or the city's assistant executive, there are many ways to jump in and kick up the community service, even within the walls of your own home. Teaching your children the importance of service and volunteering will put them on the path to a sincere work ethic and a sense of well-being.
When you teach your kids that community work is so much more than logging hours on a school mandated service sheet, then your kids will understand the importance of their role in the community. Unsure of what to do in your specific city? Visit the local website or town hall or ask other parents.
Better yet, start a new program or service project. Even cleaning up the local parks or streets can go a long way. It is important to actually do something instead of think up plans and let them hang in the air. Get up, get out, and do something that you and your children can be proud of.
Here are a few ideas:
Attend important community events. Even small things like art shows or town plays can remind your child that it is important to be there and support city events. Know about your town council and any upcoming activities. My city puts on Easter egg hunts, ice skating nights, and movies in the park. Most of these are free or low cost too.
Be involved with school. Most of the work opportunities start at your child's school. By starting at the school, you will be able to jump start your community work.
Don't overdo it. While it is important to get involved with many organizations and projects, the more you push your children to go to every event with you, the less they will want to do things on their own. Don't get so caught up in the town drama that you forget to put family first. You don't need to volunteer every single week to stay updated and involved.
- Let your child think of ideas. Ask your children to come up with something they can do to give back to the community and see where their ideas take them. Children are usually much more imaginative and creative, and you may end up getting something golden.
It all begins with you, and if you are not fully invested in helping out, your kids will notice. Figure out if this is something your family wants to do and if it is, make a plan of action. Service is the secret that brings families closer. It's a secret because not many families are willing to spend a few Saturdays helping out the community, but once you do, you will understand the satisfaction of it all.
Jenna Koford is a student studying communications with an emphasis in journalism. Jenna enjoys family time, Christmas, Disney, walks, movies, and rainy days.