Community service is a great way to teach responsibility. Developing a sense of gratitude and empathy for the less fortunate will go a long way in enriching their lives. It may be a challenge convincing them something is good for them, but it is important to instill this value as something they can appreciate and be passionate about.
Developing Their Helping Hand
Start by finding a cause where your teen may show an interest. Consider their abilities, the time commitment needed, and the attitude of the organization. Maybe they are interested in animals, children, sports, health, or senior citizens. Motivate them by explaining the purpose behind the volunteering.
Let them make their choices about who or what they are helping. No one likes to be forced to do something. They need to feel like they are trusted and can be independent. The more trust you put in them, the more responsible they will become to earn it. Do your best to empathize and be understanding with them. This will make them more open to compromise.
Teenagers are not always the best at listening to their parents, but they do see your actions. Walk your talk. If they see you with a passion for helping, they will be inspired to follow your example. Do your best to make it fun and interesting. Try to incorporate games into your learning activities. This works especially well if they are working with kids from poor communities. It can create a bond between your volunteer teens and the kids they are helping.
Be Sure to Offer Positive Feedback
If you want to keep their motivation strong, be sure to let them know they are appreciated. They want to feel noticed and know their efforts are recognized. That will inspire them to work harder. When you tell someone you appreciate what they do, they tend to work even harder.
Give your teen this purpose and let them do the work. Tell them to know you appreciate their efforts and see the hard work and improvement. Watch them grow up, work hard, and reap the benefits of their efforts. Your teen will grow up to be socially aware, confident, competent, and useful members of their society. Hopefully, they can help make a difference and can move on to inspire other young people. It is all worth the effort to help our youth succeed in life.