Teach your children to work for a good cause and enrich their personalities and value systems, paving the way for a more socially conscious generation.
Most children today are pressurised to perform, be it in academics or in
co-curricular activities. It starts as early as infancy. We first want
our child to crawl, then walk and talk. We often compare notes with
friends and relatives about how well our children
are doing. Then it goes on to selecting the best play school for your
toddler all the way right up to university. As parents we undergo
pressure too, worrying about our child's future.
In this rat race, children
are brought up forced to forget their role in society. Does this
humanitarianism come naturally to them or is it just isolated to
studying about it in their social sciences class? "Children today do not understand the need to be good to others around them." says Prema, a high school teacher in Cochin. "How many children
or youngsters do you find getting up for an elderly gentleman in the
bus? Somewhere along their hurry to compete, they even forget the basic
courtesy." she adds. Encourage children to work for a good cause.
This will help sensitise them towards their less fortunate counterparts
in society. Here are some activities you can encourage your child to
Read to elderly
There are a number of old age homes in most cities.
Elderly people in these homes are looked after and in most cases all
their medical needs are taken care of. Encourage your children
to visit them and read a newspaper, book or a magazine to them for half
an hour. You can make arrangements with the authorities beforehand to
make the required arrangements.
Spend time with orphans
A large number of orphanages are being run by both private and government
organisations. The easiest way to help these days is to donate money.
Very few people really reach out to share a talent or give their time
to the less fortunate. Encourage your children
to gather along a few friends and visit these orphanages and distribute
sweets during a festive occasion, or share a craft they know. It is
important for them to know that those children too are a part of our society and deserve every bit of attention that we can give.
Donate old books
today do not read and even if they do, do not know what to do with them
after having read them. Persuade them to collect old books, comics or
magazines from their friends and neighbours and donate to a less
privileges school or an institution that does not have these resources.
This however should not be mistaken as being an excuse to get rid of
old tattered books and magazines. Make sure they are all in readable condition.
Teach a child to read
One hour a week is all that your children
will need for this activity. Most of us take education for granted. As
adults we too tend to forget those who struggle for their education.
Get your child to help another less fortunate child by teaching them
basic reading and writing skills. This can even be done at home by teaching the children of your domestic help.
Collect old clothes and medicines
Another simple action is collecting old clothes and medicines to be
distributed at an orphanage, an old age home or even to hospitals that
treat the poor. One good idea is to help your children
form a club whose members be given responsibilities to place collection
bags at various buildings. These can then be donated twice or thrice a
year. However, when collecting medicines make sure there are not past
their expiry date.
Clean up the yard
Finally, the simplest of all deeds - clean up your own backyard! Children
can join residents associations in their efforts to keep their areas
clean. Help them work towards creating a cleanliness awareness
programme in their neighbourhood. Most local associations will be
willing to help in their efforts.
It is said that charity begins at home. When the seeds
are sown in young minds, we can be sure the next generation will be a
more caring and responsible lot.
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- The Indiaparenting Team