Some high schools require students to complete a certain number of community service hours before graduating. If you are raising your teens or grandkids to be generous and thoughtful individuals, then stress to them the importance of giving back. Here are three ways you can help your teen cultivate a spirit of generosity and a willingness to serve:
Make it a family affair. Be the example of stewardship you want your teens to follow. Find an organization or a cause that the entire family can get involved with and participate in together.
Let them decide. If your teens have a service project they want to explore, then support them in their efforts. Their ideas are being shaped by their interests and experiences. Your encouragement at this crucial stage in their development will help validate their sense of self-worth and provide an additional boost of motivation.
Even small gestures count. Raising money for charity or volunteering a couple of hours a week at a food bank or a similar civic-minded organization are great ways to give back. So, too, are neighborly deeds, such as shoveling an elderly neighbor’s driveway or pulling their trash cans out to the curb. Teach your teens to never overlook small ways in which they can make a difference.