Volunteering is a great way to become a happier person while helping other members of the community. Studies have shown that volunteering has a marked effect on well-being, making such work a win-win for everyone involved.
If your teenager seems like they could use a boost, then getting them involved in community projects might be perfect for them. Not only will they improve their short-term outlook, but they’ll form positive habits that will benefit them forever. Here’s how to get your teen involved in volunteering.
As you’re probably well aware, forcing anything on a teenager is rarely a good idea. Telling your child that they have to volunteer will only breed resentment and compel them to resist the notion altogether. Instead of dictating anything, simply mention the possibility of volunteering in front of your child.
Keep bringing it up as a possible option until they signal interest of their own. Once they’re onboard, you can start dealing with specifics.
If your child has expressed a genuine interest in volunteering, then it’s time to check what opportunities are available. Most communities will provide a number of options, from senior centers to the local thrift shop. Ask your friends and colleagues what they’re aware of, and tell your child to do the same.
You can also use the internet to supplement your search. Once you’ve got a shortlist ready, you can have your child drop off resumes, attend interviews, and take the position that most appeals to them.
While volunteering might offer your child a chance to gain some independence, there’s nothing wrong with accompanying them at the start. Sometimes, volunteering with a parent can double as important family bonding time. Just make sure your teen is comfortable going on their own, as well.
Most teenagers are intensely social, and everything seems like a better idea if friends are part of the plan. If your teen is hesitant to volunteer on their own, they might be more open to the idea of taking a position along with some friends. Without nagging, try gently nudging your child’s inner circle to get involved together.
There’s little doubt that volunteering would have a positive impact on your teenager’s life. The challenge is getting them to accept such a role. Try taking the steps above to help get them involved.