Activities

The Importance of Community Involvement for Children

There are many ways to interpret the meaning of the term “community involvement”. It could refer to charity fundraising or volunteering, or something as simple as helping an elderly neighbour carry their shopping in from the car. Whatever your own interpretation of community involvement, it’s important to encourage your child to take part in one way or another, because it will allow them to develop a range of transferrable skills that will benefit them throughout life.

What’s more, community involvement is a fantastic way to get your child to put down their phones and spend some time in the big wide world, helping put things into perspective and allowing them to grow as an individual. An international school in the UK explores the benefits of community involvement in further detail below. 

Teaches Empathy and Compassion

Unfortunately, children aren’t born with an innate ability to understand what other people are going through, but it’s something that can be learnt. By helping out in the community, such as raising money for cancer research or homelessness, or another worthy cause, or volunteering at a local care home or charity shop, your child will learn more about the struggles of others. This will help them become more empathetic and compassionate towards others, because you never know what someone might be going through.

Encourages Appreciation

As adults, we understand that not all children get tons of Christmas or birthday presents, not everyone has three nutritious meals a day, and not everyone has a roof over their heads. This is a challenging concept for children to comprehend, especially if they’ve lived a sheltered life thus far, but charity work and community involvement can help. As well as teaching empathy and compassion, this experience will also help your child feel more appreciative of what they have, which will lead to a happier, more fulfilling life.

Improves Various Skills

Many transferrable skills can be developed through volunteer work, and other community-based activities, which will help your child in their academic and personal life. The skills that can be developed through community involvement will depend on the type of work they engage in. Here are some examples:

  • By running a marathon to raise money for charity, or participating in sports fundraising, your child will become physically fitter, and will understand the importance of training and commitment to something.
  • If your child donates their clothes and other belongings to charity, they learn the gift of giving.
  • By volunteering in a charity shop, your child will learn customer service skills, such as handling money and communicating with the public.
  • Travelling abroad to help build a new school or religious building will help teach your child carpentry skills. They may also learn a new language and become better communicators.
  • Many community activities help children with their overall independence and autonomy.
  • Many community activities provide an opportunity for children to meet new people and develop their social skills.

Boosts Confidence

Children who engage with the community are able to meet new people, develop a range of skills, and generally just step out of their comfort zone. This is a fantastic way to help them become more confident in their own abilities, which will help them flourish going forward.

Creates Career Opportunities

The skills and confidence developed through community involvement are a great way for young people to build up their CVs and provide a talking point in future job interviews. Practical experience is highly sought after by employers, which often limits a young person’s options, so it’s great to have some sort of work experience, even if it is voluntary.

Generally speaking, children who have given up their free time to a worthy cause are working towards a better future, for themselves and for others. It may even help them learn about themselves and what they want to achieve in life, both personally and in terms of a career.

Encourages Positive Habits

Nowadays, many parents are concerned with the amount of time their children are spending playing on digital devices, from phones and tablets to games consoles. It can be difficult to find ways to keep them entertained without involving technology in some way, which can be detrimental to their health. Volunteering in the community gives children something to do that is actually beneficial for both themselves and others. This is a far more valuable use of their time than staying indoors tapping away on an iPhone.

Makes You Feel Good

Giving up one’s time, energy, money, or something else entirely, for the good of others can help you feel good about yourself. Little people often struggle to find their place in the world and often don’t know where they fit in, but volunteering can help them understand how small acts can make such a big difference.

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