Many kids who have always gotten away from doing chores around the house tend to end up as spoiled teenagers a few years later. When mom asks them to set up the table for dinner, they feign ignorance, to the extent that the mother chooses to do the task herself. In case their father tells them to clean their room, it may take weeks of reminding before the youngsters pick up the vacuum cleaner.
Because of that, there is no doubt that it may take a while as well to coax such teenagers to do some volunteer work in the community. Their first question may be, “Why should I do that?” The second one typically sounds like, “What will I get if I agree to do it for free?”
Although reasoning with a hard-headed youth may be a no-brainer for some, you should still try. It will help the big kid see that not everything in life is easy, that they are indeed lucky to have the life they have. To help you with the matter, here are five tips on encouraging teens to volunteer.
- Talk About The Cause
Weeks before the charity event happens, it is best to throw some information about it around the house whenever an opportunity opens up. The goal is to allow your teens to understand why it will take place and where the proceeds will go. When you ask your kids if they can help out on that day, therefore, it may be easier for them to say yes since they know enough about the event.
- Help Them Internalize What They’ll Do
Some kids refuse to do volunteer work primarily because they have no clue of what the adults will expect from them there. More than physical labor, a lot of teenagers are afraid of making a fool of themselves in front of other people. Hence, to calm their nerves, your job is to explain to the youngsters their responsibilities at the volunteering site, as well as how their good deed can be beneficial for folks in need.
- Invite Their Friends
Assuming you know the youth that your children usually hang out with, you may invite them one time to volunteer for a feeding program or donation drive that may occur in your town. Feel free to do it before you ask your teens to come as well. This way, since they are already aware that their friends won’t find it not cool, they may be more willing to participate.
- Offer Rewards
Although teenagers are practically close to becoming young adults, they may still react positively to incentives. Say, your teens have been begging you to let them go to a concert that will take place in a month. You may agree to buy the tickets for them, granted that they volunteer at the kids’ camp or at any organization that can utilize their service. It does not make you a bad parent for taking this route, especially when the promise of a reward will enable the teens to see the beauty of helping others.
- Become A Good Example
Furthermore, regardless of age, a child will always copy what he or she sees mom and dad do. If you show the kids that you help out at a shelter or a housing project for the less fortunate for free, there’s a high chance that they will follow your lead and do the same thing. Their rebellious streak may not make that apparent in the beginning, but their goodness will eventually come through soon enough.
Encouraging teenagers with diverse attitudes may only be difficult when you start overthinking about it. You may say, “Oh, this kid does not listen to me at home. He might not be helpful in the field.” However, by doing so, you are effectively taking away the youth’s chance to prove that he can change and become a better person.
It won’t hurt to use the approaches above to entire the teens to do volunteer work. Good luck!