Working together as a family is a way to teach kids how to take on more responsibility and participating in a group project is a great opportunity for your child to take charge and become the true leader that they are. At 4‑H, service to the community is an important pillar of our organization and something we strive to engrain in all our members. Not only do kids learn the importance of their role in the community, but community service harnesses their time and energy into doing good. Not to mention, it’s fun!
Brandi Riley, author of the Mama Knows It All Blog, decided to start a family service project with her 9-year-old daughter Ayva and learned a few things in the process. Here’s what Brandi thinks you should consider when starting a family service project:
Find out what the people you are helping really need.
Brandi knows how eager kids can get to help out others. The thing is, it’s important to ask the people you’re helping what they really need. Brandi and her daughter made a quick call to a shelter for women and children to help shape their project. In talking to and learning about the shelter, they found out it was most in need of clothes for babies and toddlers. Brandi and Avya were planning on gathering soaps and toiletries, but when they found out what the shelter really needed, they changed their plan.
Make a plan before you begin.
Speaking of planning, before starting talk with your family and decide what exactly you’re going to do. What do you want to accomplish? Do you need any materials to complete the project? Talk together and figure out a game plan, then go from there.
Let your child/children take the lead.
As Brandi said it, “This tip is for the mamas.” If your child has an idea of a project they want to do, let them be in charge of it. We all want our kids to succeed, but they won’t have the satisfaction of knowing that they did something amazing if you do it all for them. Instead of trying to be the lead, take a step back and encourage your kid to let you know what they need. Be there to support them, but let them be the boss (to a certain extent of course!)
Take a look at our Inspire Kids To Do activities for more ideas to do good with your kids!