Volunteering time and money to worthwhile causes is a lesson that all people need to learn. Childhood is a perfect time to introduce this lesson. It is not uncommon for children to have unrealistic ideas about the challenges that people or animals face. Volunteering can open a child’s mind to the difficulties that life can bring. Here are some tips for getting children to volunteer.

Find Out Their Interests
If a child loves animals, encourage them to volunteer at an animal shelter. They will be excited about interacting with the animals and tending to their needs. If a child enjoys going to the beach teach them the importance of preserving the environment by volunteering to pick up trash on your own or with a civic organization. When children are interested in what they are doing, they are more likely to learn why volunteering is important and be apt to volunteer their time as they get older.

Make it a Family Affair
Make volunteering a natural part of your family’s culture. Children learn by example. When parents show children that volunteering is an important aspect of being a good citizen, they are more likely to want to volunteer. In addition, they will look forward to volunteering as a way to spend additional family time together.

Start on a Small Scale
Teach children that volunteering does not have to be a big production. If a neighbor is sick or homebound, determine what the family can do to assist them. This might mean preparing a meal or cleaning up their house. This type of activity teaches children that people who are near to them often need assistance and assisting them does not require a great deal of time or money.

Teach Compassion and Gratitude
When children are compassionate towards others and grateful for what they have, they are more likely to volunteer. Children should be taught not to judge people’s circumstances if they haven’t walked in their shoes. Additionally, children should learn the importance of gratitude and appreciate their lives.

Following the aforementioned tips will result in children who are eager to help others. Once they experience the joy that comes from volunteering and making a difference in their communities, giving back will be something they do with eagerness and excitement.