As a mom, one of the most valuable gifts I can give my children is to teach them to serve others. But how do we serve with young children? Most organizations have age limits for their volunteers, and while donating money is a legitimate way to help, a more tangible lesson often sticks better with kids. A few years ago, I found myself in this exact dilemma. My kids were 7, 5, and 2. They were exhibiting signs of the entitlement culture that surrounds us. I wanted to find ways to build a stronger family and stronger character in my children, but I couldn’t find a volunteer organization that would let my kids serve with me and my husband.
Our solution was to create our own ways to serve. I sat down with my kids and encouraged them to think of ways they could help others. Before I knew it, we had almost a full page of ideas, and we began looking for opportunities to put them into action. We have loved using our list—sometimes by planning a day of service in advance, sometimes just by seeing an opportunity and seizing it. If you’re looking for ways to serve with your children, here are just a few ideas to get you started.