The modern world made more kids less connected to their community. Most kids stay indoors playing on their devices and not knowing the other children in their neighborhood. They don’t even know the names of their distant cousin or where their grandparents live.
While the new normal restricted our every move, there is no point letting kids drift away and not have a sense of community. We need to remember that a sense of love and belongingness is just one of everyone’s major needs. Raising kids to be community-minded can help with their sense of identity while giving them more opportunities to help others and learn many life skills.
The question is, how can parents raise community-minded kids in the modern world? To help you get started, you can consider the following tips.
Enroll Kids in Extracurricular Activities
Honing your kids’ talents and letting them pursue their passion may not seem like a convenient way to build their sense of community. But in reality, allowing them to join extracurricular activities of their choice will make it easier for them to build connections with people they already have the same interests with. Group learning activities will make them more aware of how other kids think, play, solve problems, communicate, and relate to other people.
Even if they prefer solo activities under the guidance of a teacher or coach, they can still establish a sense of love and belongingness. For instance, your little one is really interested in learning music or taking private piano lessons. He can enroll in a piano class, get to know his teachers, mingle with other students during their demo, and showcase what he learned to other people.
Your child can start playing the piano on future family reunions, at school, or even as an intermission during a volunteer event your family is a part of. They can be a part of music organizations or societies where he can meet his favorite composers, pianists, and more. He will learn to identify himself as a musician, all because you encourage him to try out his preferred activity.
Get Involved With Local Events
Some parents tend to be so busy at work that they never got the chance to take their kids to community events. Before the pandemic, numerous events are held each month by different local organizations, nonprofits, and charities. You can consider taking them to such events after the pandemic is over.
The key is to help your kids learn what community organizations they may be interested in. If they have a big heart and loves helping other people, the family can volunteer as a group. If your kids are into fitness, they can join fun runs and other community sporting events.
Parents and their children can enjoy local events even while staying at home. You can teach your kids different ways they can help even as we shelter in place. This can be as easy as saving up their old stuff to donate to the needy, helping you prepare simple meals for the homeless, and crafting cards sending love and hope to those who need them the most.
Teach Kids to Reach Out to Neighbors
Sometimes, the best way to teach kids a sense of community is to open their eyes to their neighbors‘ struggles. Maybe you have a senior neighbor who can no longer take care of their lawn. If your kids are willing, they can extend their help after they are done with their own lawn duties.
Your friendly neighbor might have just given birth and could use a little help with the other kids. You and the kids can consider cooking a meal for them as a treat or offer to babysit while the parents run some important errands. You can also allow your kids to create cards or send their love for a retired neighbor who recently moved to a nursing home.
Maybe your kid’s friend next door is sick. You can help them contact their friend or bring them get well soon cards to make them feel better. Or maybe there are a couple of people in the community that could use a bit of help every way they can. There are simply so many opportunities kids can help the community if only we teach our kids to open their hearts and minds.
Teaching kids to be compassionate and the importance of giving back to the community will help them become well-adjusted adults. There is nothing more than a parent can ask for than to raise that is not only healthy and happy. It is also every parent’s pride to have children who get along well with others, know their social responsibility, and are very much willing to extend a helping hand whenever necessary. Give your kids the chance to be community-minded kids by being their role models.