Something I’ve been pondering since spending time with a group of college students who are eager to get involved in their community, is who inspires who in the family.

Sure some youth will learn about being part of the community, assisting others, through their parents, church or other group.

Some, will start helping when a family member, friend or relation becomes ill and needs support.

But if we forget about immediate connections that may spark the flame to get youth involved; have you every had a discussion with your children about how they might like to help others in the community? Or, have you, as I’ve heard recently, been inspired to help through hearing stories from their children.

Whichever way it is – would you consider sitting down with your children to talk about giving – not just financially but through volunteering in the community?

What do you think the reaction would be in your house, if tonight you were to sit down as a family and talk about how everyone might like to do something in the community?

Some ideas worth considering:

Having chats as a family about issues in the media, hear what excites, what annoys and what upsets. This could open up further talks about how you could help make a difference, to support the issues you have talked about.

Talk with you children about why you give. What inspires/motivates you to support organisations.

Talk about how lucky you are as a family to enjoy the things you have, the ability you have to do activities and how others in the world don’t have the opportunities.

As a family visit a local organization, see first hand what the organization does and how this benefits others. Select a time of year when as a family you sort through unwanted items and donate them to a cause in your community.

At Christmas or another time of year make a family pledge to give to a community group, have your children select who to give to, why and what to give.

These are just some ideas, there’s plenty more – if you have inspired your children to give, or your children have inspired to give – how did this come about, please share your stories in the comments below.

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