Welcome to Plugging Into Your Kids from Direct Energy. In this series, we will share ways you can spend focused time with your children – specifically by unplugging from technology. We want to help your family make a conscious effort to connect with each other by avoiding electronic devices and enjoying some real-life interaction.
Teaching our children to think beyond themselves is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.
In this installment of Plugging Into You Kids by Direct Energy, we turn away from technology and screen time, and focus on wholesome time to connect with our kids in our community. One way to do that is to look at community service, and teach our children what it means to be a humanitarian.
There are so many organizations and opportunities to share with your child. Follow along as we share our favorite places to start, and where you may find a home away from home in helping others.
Nursing Home Help
Spread your energy to a local nursing home where those living there would love and enjoy the presence of a young child to sit with them, and just talk. If your child plays an instrument, consider encouraging them to play some music for the residents! You could even get in the habit of picking some flowers to bring or taking a book with you to read to an elder. Any gesture will truly brighten their day.
Local Food Bank
Food banks in cities and towns across the nation can look different from place to place. But one thing is for certain: they are important staples in our community for feeding those who have difficulty obtaining food for financial, medical, and other reasons.
From hosting a small food drive yourselves, to heading down in person and loading up boxes, your child can see for themselves the food that will make its way to a family or person in need.
It may even cause them to stop and think before they throw out food they can’t finish eating, or before they complain the next time you’re cooking something they don’t like. When we serve others, it can make us all pause and consider how we are living life.
Trash Pick Up
You don’t have to join the efforts of an organization to make the environment a little brighter and less littered. My family often takes a plastic grocery bag with us when we talk walks, and pick up trash as we see it.
But if you want to be a part of a larger organization, then look to see if a local arboretum, nature preserve, or state park is doing a large trash pick up.
Beach town municipalities and smaller organizations often do a large trash pick up once a year. Pack a picnic, set aside a day, and take the whole family down to the coast to help leave it more beautiful than how you found it. You may even find a few shells to bring home with you.
Animals touch the heart of most children. Consider reaching out to your local animal shelter to see if there are opportunities for you and your children to volunteer.
Though many shelters will accept children of middle school age and older, some may still work with you both as long as there is parental supervision.
If the shelter isn’t open to younger volunteers, then team up with a local non-profit that does pet adoption days. Having a few extra hands on deck and helping families adopt pets can be a great way to spend a Saturday morning.
A Lemonade Stand
Talk to your child and see if there is a cause or an organization that may speak to them. Talk together about why that organization means something to them.
Consider setting up a lemonade stand out the front of your home, and raising money for their cause. If it’s for a children’s cancer hospital, for example, then fund raising is a way to support them, since volunteering at these hospitals is often not an option.
Let your child take the reigns and see what they come up with. You will undoubtedly learn a thing or two about them in the process.