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Raising a Socially-Responsible Child

This week I participated in a webinar Bright Horizons did along with The Volunteer Family about Raising a Socially Responsible Child. There were a few good tips I picked up:

  1. It’s never too late (or too early) to start encouraging your child to be socially aware.
  2. In order to volunteer as a family, focus your efforts according to your child’s temperament. If you have a spirited toddler, participate in a park or green space clean up where they can run around and get fresh air. Or, you can rake leaves for an elderly neighbor (or busy working family!). If your child is shy and not very social, do things at home like baking dog biscuits for a shelter or make cards or blankets for a hospital or nursing home.
  3. Use birthday parties or group/child care center events as a collection place. One idea I’m going to use is to host a pajama party. Have the children come dressed in their pajamas, eat breakfast foods like pancakes or muffins, watch Saturday morning cartoons or have a pretend slumber party, but ask each guest to bring a new pair of pajamas to donate to The Pajama Program.

As full-time working parents of two small children, my husband and I would like to do more, but we’ve been trying to think about how to do that without the kids. Now, I’m inspired to do more WITH them. Our first step is to organize our basement and scale back. We’re going to donate all of the toys, books etc. that our boys have outgrown to the children’s hospital (they just posted their wish list on Facebook) and all of our unwanted household items to the Epilepsy Foundation. They’ll come right to our doorstep and pick everything up, then sell them for a profit at a local thrift shop. After that, holiday cards and treats for the nursing home my grandfather lived in for the past year. Any other ideas for a busy family with a 17 month old and 3 year old?

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