With parents’ busy work schedules and their children’s extracurricular activities, quality family time can be more elusive than ever before. Attending kids’ sporting events, watching a movie together, or visiting a park can be nice, but they may not provide much opportunity for parents to model values and create stronger bonds with their children.
So, what would allow families to spend time together, but in a more meaningful way?
Ashley Kretzschmar, an award-winning thought leader liaison with Regeneron in Aledo, Texas, believes the answer lies in volunteering. She shares the benefits of involving your family in volunteer work.
Modeling Positive Behaviors and Values
Whether at school, at home or in the community, children learn through observation. By volunteering as a family, children will observe their parents engaging in acts of kindness and showing compassion for those less fortunate. Children will model these positive behaviors and they’ll be instilled with a good social conscience that will be strengthened through continuous volunteer work.
Helping others through volunteering (or other acts of charity) is a simple and effective way to boost your own spirits. Research has identified a link between giving and increased activity in the areas of your brain that register pleasure. The more you volunteer in your community, the happier your family will be, adds Ashley Kretzschmar.
Creates Stronger Familial Bonds
Volunteering is the best answer for families seeking to engage in quality family time. It’s an enriching collective experience that bolsters familial relationships through a common interest and shared goal, says Ashley Kretzschmar. Whether it’s volunteering at an animal shelter, a food bank, or a fundraiser, parents will be working with their kids to support a cause they are both passionate about. It can spark meaningful conversations, create lasting memories, and provide many opportunities for parents to teach their kids new skills and important values.
Provides Opportunity for Skill Development
Building off of the previous point, volunteering provides many teachable moments. Both kids, and even parents, can gain new insights and valuable skills through community involvement, notes Ashley Kretzschmar. At an animal shelter, families could learn more about the different needs of animals and how to properly care for a pet. At a food bank or soup kitchen, there might be an opportunity to learn about cooking or baking.
Creates Closer Ties to the Community
As well, volunteering will provide endless opportunities for families to learn more about the people and places that make up their community. Both parents and their kids could form new friendships, learn about their community’s history, and help to lead their community towards a stronger and healthier future.
Final Thoughts from Ashley Kretzschmar
So, for parents looking for more ways to instill positive values in their children and strengthen familial bonds, Ashley Kretzschmar encourages them to consider getting their family involved in volunteer work. With all of the aforementioned benefits, the return on investment (of time and resources) is immense and will positively affect your family now and into the future.