Children Too Self-Focused?
Children Too Self-Focused? Start the New Year by Volunteering as a Family
As the New Year approaches, parents flinch at remembering how materialistic their children acted during the holidays. They vow to find ways to get their children involved in volunteering to help other people, animals or the environment.
“When children are involved in a volunteer activity, they learn to see beyond their self-centered world of school, family and their toys,” says parenting expert Silvana Clark, author of Fun-Filled Parenting: A Guide to Laughing More and Yelling Less. “Volunteering also helps children learn responsibility and gain self-confidence.”
Families can volunteer together in the following ways:
— Simply collect newspapers from family and friends and
take to a Humane Society for puppy pens. Some families end
up as volunteers to walk the dogs at the shelter.
— Let kids decorate brown lunch bags with stickers and
glitter. Fill each bag with a granola bar, juice pack and
small “Happy-Meals-type” toy. Take these Bedtime Snack sacks
to a shelter for homeless women as a bedtime treat for kids
living at the shelter.
— Collect gently used shoes from family and friends and
donate to the shoe charity, Soles4Souls, which donates those
shoes to 110 countries around the world.
— Have children clip coupons from magazines and newspapers.
Take the accumulated coupons to a senior center that will
make them available to seniors.
— Collect your gently used children’s clothing and take it
to a consignment shop. Donate the money from the sale of
clothes to a local charity selected by your children.
Children easily become self-focused on their own wants, rather than thinking of others. Volunteering with children doesn’t have to involve a major activity. Clark, a professional speaker, encourages parents to find small ways to get children involved in volunteering. Children quickly learn that even their small action can improve the world.
Parents serve as positive role models when families work together on a volunteer project. Instead of sitting at home fighting over which video game to play, children develop traits such as empathy and consideration of others when they volunteer with a kind act. Start the New Year with a fresh
start by getting children involved in volunteering.
About Silvana Clark:
As a professional speaker and the author of 12 books, Silvana believes in starting children to volunteer at ayoung age. Her daughter Sondra “volunteered” to star in a diaper commercial at the age of six months. Since that time, Silvana and her family have volunteered in Kenya, U ganda,
Guatemala, Costa Rica and in 43 states across the U.S. When not volunteering, she presents keynotes and workshops to business groups on increasing staff creativity and innovative marketing ideas. She frequently appears on TV shows such as The 700 Club, Discovery’s Home Matters and, let’s not forget, a two-part episode on Fox’s Trading Spouses. For information, please go to
Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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