How Your Family Can Give Back This Summer

Children learn a lot by example, and certain habits tend to make the best impression when they are part of a routine. For instance, children are more likely to develop an interest in reading if they see their parents reading by example. When it comes to routine, children may grow accustomed to reading at a certain time of day which helps instill the act of reading as an important part of their lives. This can apply to other things too: children are more likely to eat healthy if they see their parents eating that way. The same goes for other habits and interests that parents feel may be beneficial for their children. As the summer holidays near, parents may be wondering how they can encourage their kids to do something meaningful, and by making it part of your routine, you can help your children grow into well developed individuals.

Aside from planned vacations, there are plenty of things that families can do together during the summer holidays, yet not many people may realize just how fun, fulfilling and inspiring it can be to spend some time with your family while you also help your community.

Being charitable is a virtue, and as a parent it is a great ideal to instill in your children. Like reading, leading by example and making it a part of your everyday can make giving back a huge part of your child’s life. Here are some ways you can give back with your children this summer and make some memories too:

Does your family have a favorite park or hangout spot? The next time you plan an outing, see if there’s anything that you can do for this community space. Do they need any assistance cleaning up or setting up activities? Cleaning is a great skill, especially for children who are just learning how to pick up after themselves as independent individuals while also learning to complete other tasks on their own. Cleaning up and helping others is a great way to teach accountability and compassion.

Is there a local pet shelter near your home? If your kids love animals, volunteering at shelters is a great way to provide your children with opportunities to play with them as well as help them out, and it can be especially beneficial for kids who may not have pets at home. Unadopted pets need love and your family, as well as your children, can help shelters out by playing with the animals, taking them for walks, or completing other tasks in order to help improve the lives of these animals. You might find that doing so just might help to improve your own life as well!

Do you have a yard or is there a garden close to your home? Planting trees with your children can help impart the idea that taking care of the earth is important, and that even planting one tree can make a difference and help the planet.

Parents can also encourage kids to donate. As the new school year approaches, your children may want new school supplies. Encourage them to gather the things that they may no longer want, such as last year’s backpack or the pair of sneakers they outgrew, and go along with them as they donate these items to other children in need.

There are plenty of other things that you can do to give back with your kids, but remember, by making it a part of your everyday and by leading by example, parents can help make a huge difference in their child’s lives and it can even encourage them to make a positive difference in other people’s lives as well.

7 Ways to Teach Kids Not to Take Things for Granted

Being Thankful

In today’s world, we have so many resources available to us. Not only are we lucky to have so much information and so many everyday advances at our fingertips to make our daily lives easier, but we also have a plethora of entertainment options ready for the choosing whenever we so please. As parents, it is only natural to want to do everything for your children and to provide them with all of the conveniences and commodities that you may not have had access to during your own childhood. Many generations are like this, and we always want to do better and give more – but there can be a downside.

In today’s world, television, mobile devices, music, the internet, you name it, is always readily available. It may be difficult for some parents to limit the time their children spend doing any of these given things, leading to a sense of entitlement and selfishness. Sometimes, these side effects occur by accident. You want your child to be happy so you provide them with the means to be happily content every moment of their lives, but this may lead to issues with gratitude and can really affect how they view others and the world around them. Without actually taking your children off the grid, there are some ways you can make sure that they learn to appreciate what they have in life and how to be humble, well-rounded people as they get older.

Be Their Role Model
Kids learn by mimicking. This means that they will learn to conduct themselves much in the same way that they see others around them do, and as a parent you are arguably your child’s biggest influence. In order to teach your children gratitude, you will need to actively practice showing gratitude yourself as well.

Be Sure to Thank Your Children
As a role model, you will need to actively show gratitude and be thankful for what you have as well as for what others do for you. When your child completes a task, does something nice without being prompted, or accomplishes something, make sure to thank them. Being on the receiving end of gratitude can help children to understand just how much this sort of sentiment really means to them and how much it must mean to other people as well.

Importance of Thank You

Do Some Teaching
As Americans, we are awarded many freedoms but it is more complex than it simply being the law. Teach your children about American history and those who fought for the freedoms we have today. There are many things that even adults take for granted that are not part of the realities other people around the world experience. It is important for kids to understand where their privileges come from and to be thankful for them instead of thinking that they are a given.

The Importance of “Thank You”
Many kids simply say ‘thank you’ because they are told to do so without really understanding why. Explaining what the sentiment means and how much weight it can really carry can help kids realize how integral showing thanks can be, whether it be in the form of a verbal “thank you”, a thank you note or even a gift.

Prompt You Kids to Give Back
Kids are more likely to follow through with something to the end if they have a part in coming up with the idea, just like how kids are more likely to try new foods if they have a hand in the meal prep. Ask your kids to do something nice for someone that might have a need that they can help with, or someone that cares for them, or has helped them in the past, and encourage them to do something nice for them.

Challenge Entitled Behavior the Moment it Happens
If your child expects something and is unhappy with being denied the thing they want, whether it be a treat, a toy or extra TV time, nip it in the bud as soon as you can. Ask your child what is really important. Ask them what it is they think they deserve and why. Making it a point of conversation can help children understand the true value of the things that they have as well as what the true value of their actions and beliefs are.

Learn to Love the Small Things

Gratitude is the greatest of virtues

Children can take certain things for granted because it is simply all they know. Point out little things that both you and your children should be thankful for and explain why. Your children may not realize just how valuable having clean water is and just how lucky they are to have it in order to survive. Having warm clothes and even amenities like kitchen appliances, toilets, heating, you name it! Remind your children that there are other kids out there who may not have any of these necessary things, let alone a toy to play with.

Teaching your child to be thankful and to show gratitude is not going to happen overnight, and it is not something you can teach with a single lesson. As a parent, you will have to make sure that you set a good example, too, so remember to be grateful as well.

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KD Novelties publisher of Personalized Children’s Books