Todays post from Anita…
I thought today I would talk about teen emotions.
OK, I hear you. There’s no way I can cover that topic in one blog post! You’re right, so I’m just going to talk about one thing that can help our children feel good about themselves.
I can hear you sigh. Because I know you can hear them sigh! Bear with me though.
It has been proven that doing things for others makes us feel better about ourselves. The head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society, Dr Mark Snyder said “People who volunteer tend to have higher self-esteem, psychological well-being, and happiness.”
For some reason when people think about volunteering, especially around Christmas, they often think about serving at the soup kitchen. I guess it’s just the first thing people think of. Of course that’s a fabulous place to volunteer, but it might not appeal to your teen.
There are many places to volunteer. You just have to think outside the box a little.
Think of your child’s interests.
Over the years my teen has volunteered with a volleyball kids program, a little ones music and movement class, science camps and sports clubs. She loves it! Of course these wouldn’t appeal to all teens, I realize. But for her it’s the only days of the week she gets out of bed without a fuss!
She has a purpose.
She feels responsible and needed.
And, ipso facto, she feels better about herself!
Here’s a few ideas that might appeal to your teen:
- Reading to kids at the library
- Playing cards with residents of a senior’s home
- Helping a kid in the neighborhood with their homework
- Walking the dogs at the SPCA
- Playing a game with an only child
- Helping a younger sibling with homework
- Helping at the local science centre or aquarium
- Volunteering at the local radio or public broadcast station
- Baking treats for the local firemen!
- Donating time with a non-profit organization they are interested in
OK… you get the idea!
It doesn’t have to be organized, although something regular is great. Big or small, they will feel needed, valued and appreciated.
This doesn’t just apply to our children. It applies to us too!
BUT… It may not be advisable to sit your teen down and say, ‘Right, now lets talk about volunteering’. You might need to be a little more creative with your words, just so they’ll hear you out. Once you’ve thought about their interests try asking them to ‘help out’, rather than using the word volunteer. They might listen past the first sentence that way!
Remember though…they’re not volunteering if you make them go!