How Your Child’s Team Can Give Back

One of the best ways for your child to learn about being a team player—besides on their youth sports team—is by working with others to serve people in their community. Actually, I’m an advocate of teaching kids to serve all year round, not just during the holidays.

But maybe this holiday season, you are looking for ways to start to teach your kids to give back. Here are some suggestions for you to begin now during the holidays, then look for ways to implement them all year long. These ideas for giving back can be done as a team, or as a family.

  • Clothing drive for a specific shelter. Collect and deliver yourselves.
  • Look for ways to help neighbors who need it. That elderly couple who can’t rake their leaves or the single mom who needs a babysitter, but can’t afford one.
  • Give blood.
  • Serve food to the homeless at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
  • Buy Christmas presents for kids who are less fortunate, through a charity organization.
  • Anonymously fill a basket with goodies and toys for a family and drop it off at their front door.
  • Hold a car wash, with all proceeds going to charity.
  • Serve at an animal shelter.
  • Do a fundraising walk/run together as a team or family.
  • Volunteer at a church service project.

Whatever you do, try to make serving a family and/or team affair. If the team is involved, Mom and Dad can participate and be an example of giving back.

Remember that teaching generosity to your kids is not a one-time event. Start small and take baby steps. After projects or events, talk with your kids about what they did and how it made them feel.

Thanksgiving is a great time to kick off this serving initiative; there are tons of organizations that welcome the help. Encouraging your child’s team or even your family to give back will hopefully motivate them to become people that desire to help others, not just focus on themselves.

Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called jbmthinks.com. Her new book, 11 Habits for Happy and Positive Sports Parents, is on Amazon.

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