It is never too early to teach your children how to be productive, kind members of society. Empathy for others is a character trait that will lead them positively throughout their lives and remind them of all the things to be grateful for. One great way to demonstrate how committed you are to helping others is by volunteering in your children’s’ presence and having them alongside you as you donate time and compassion for others’ well-being.
While parents do play a substantial role in forming how their children adapt to the world around them, empathy is not a character trait that is solely environment-based. A significant portion of our ability to be empathetic is dependent upon our genetics. That being said, in the age-old argument of nature vs. nurture, most psychologists of today agree that we are a combination of our genes and our environment. Families who teach empathy, compassion, and tolerance for others’ beliefs are more likely to have children who carry on those traditions, even if the children aren’t inherently empathetic by nature.
Another great reason to volunteer with your children is to give them the feeling of pride from seeing a project to its conclusion. One of the best payoffs is getting to see that your hard work wasn’t in vain. In altruistic endeavors, it’s a bonus that the beneficiaries of your help will often be gratifying in a humanitarian sense. Children will form a strong association with a positive memory of changing another person’s life through kindness. Even younger children can get involved. Small projects, such as helping feed people or clean up a park, are great for little attention spans, and they will still see the results of their efforts.
In addition to charity work, volunteer yourself for activities at your child’s school whenever feasible. Some schools allow parents to be part of committees for school events, and it’s another chance to set an excellent example for your kids regarding helping others.
There are also other perks to being a part of a project, no matter the role played. Soft skills are a non-quantifiable combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, and personality traits. Mastering these skills increases self-esteem. Working with a team teaches children about time management and the importance of organization, planning, patience, and prioritizing.