Why Middle School Students Should VolunteerPosted December 10, 2014, 3:00 pm by
It’s never too early to start thinking about helping others, and middle school is often a time when children first participate in volunteer work. There are many great opportunities to help out in the community, which can prove both highly rewarding and beneficial for your child.
Volunteering in Middle School
Volunteering Offers a Sense of Personal Achievement
Knowing that you’ve done something worthwhile, or helped another person in need, is an awesome feeling, regardless of how old you are. However, the feel-good emotions generated from volunteering can be particularly pertinent for a child going through the transitional stage of middle school, which is when some students struggle to settle in, or find their own identity.
Self-esteem often plummets during middle school, and it is also a time when many students feel pressurized by peers, and stressed about school work. Volunteering gives your middle school child the opportunity to take part in something which boosts self-esteem, and makes them feel great about themselves. Additionally, when volunteering is independent of you, it allows your child to use their own initiative, and have some control of certain aspects, which naturally increases their sense of self-reliance and reinforces a feeling of pride.
Volunteer As a Family
Although most parents appreciate the obvious benefits of volunteering during middle school, you might naturally find it a little daunting to let your middle school child go off and do it alone. However, this doesn’t mean they need to miss out; one perfect solution to make it a team effort. Volunteering as a family unit is incredibly rewarding for everyone involved. Firstly, it allows your child to see you working to help others, which sets a fantastic example. It is also a terrific bonding experience; when you work together as a team, with each family member contributing towards the task, it offers a great feeling of family unity, accomplishment, and self-pride.
Volunteering Cultivates a Better Understanding
Many children are lucky enough to live in a stable, comfortable home, and be well-provided for. Unfortunately, it is not the same for everyone. Volunteering to help those who are perhaps less fortunate can really open the eyes of your middle school child, helping them to realize just how privileged their life is. It also gives kids the chance to meet people they wouldn’t normally come across, under a variety of different settings, such as hospitals and schools; this helps children understand cultural and ethnic diversity. Some volunteering is involved with local or global issues, and this offers your child the chance to understand their community better, and have an improved knowledge of the world they live in.
Volunteering Enhances Long-Term Prospects
Although children should be taught that volunteering is a selfless act to help others, and most certainly not for personal gain (other than the above mentioned self-worth aspect), there is no denying that long-term, future prospects can be greatly enhanced by volunteer work. Many large charities and organizations offer scholarships, and further down the line, any kind of volunteering will look pretty impressive on your child’s resume. Additionally, there are many ways that voluntary work can offer children valuable work experience, which will also stand them in good stead in the future.
Volunteering at this age doesn’t need to be elaborate, it can be as simple as clearing snow from the drives of elderly neighbors, or helping to tutor a younger child. The important aspect is the participation, which not only gives help to those that need it, but also enhances your child’s personal development, and future prospects.Sign up for Free Tips and Guides direct to Your Inbox