We all want our kids to succeed, and we want to give them the skills they need to do it. But are you putting volunteer service on your child’s list of crucial extra-curriculars?
If you aren’t, here’s why you should.
Did you know that emotional intelligence is a bigger predictor of long term success than good grades?
The biggest thing that is going to help your kid through their life and future career isn’t IQ, test scores, or academic skill – it’s emotional intelligence. Decades of research shows that kids who develop skills like empathy, resilience, and how to differentiate and name emotions are much more successful as adults, and much less likely to self-harm and engage in risky behavior as teens.
It’s been proven that volunteer service is strongly associated with more positive outcomes such as higher grades, better mental health, and better follow-through with commitments.
Learning emotional intelligence through service to others is important at every age.
Volunteer service helps kids seek out and listen to what others need, connect with them, and create meaningful emotional connections. We can help them name all those feelings and get comfortable talking about them, help them better understand how their actions impact others, and help them process how service affects their own lives.
Teens lose half their brains in puberty, and what they do in their teen years matters.
With teens, it’s especially important to reinforce lessons of empathy and giving. The pre-teen and teenage brain goes through several (literally!) mind-blowing biological transformations, and things like regular volunteer service can help teens establish and feed life-long habits rooted in personal responsibility, empathy, and compassion.
Showing kids and teens in real, concrete terms how their actions affect others can be challenging, but it’s also vital. Service helps make those lessons easy and positive.
We’ve created a simple challenge for kids and teens of all ages to help you get started.
A Little #GivingChallenge is designed to help young people of all ages reflect on these things simply and easily, so the lessons stick, reinforcing pathways in the brain that support empathy and kindness.
With A Little #GivingChallenge, we’ve taken out all the guesswork to help you get started. Three days for kids and teens to give back in three different ways, with three concrete actions.
A Little #GivingChallenge
- Day 1: Help your family
- Day 2: Do something kind for a teacher, friend, or neighbor
- Day 3: Give back to your community
With our downloadable quick guide, you’ll get ideas for each day of the challenge and a place where kids can reflect on why they chose a particular activity. This moment of reflection is super important, as it’s what builds those pathways in the brain that help kids process and retain these lessons of empathy, service, and kindness.