Teaching Your Kids to Give Back

My husband and I are pretty civic-minded.  We live close to the Naval Academy in Maryland, so we sponsor Midshipman.  Basically this means we give the Mids a safe place to crash and get away from the rigors of their demanding schedules and provide home cooked meals for them to eat.  Full disclosure, given our busy schedules, sometimes we just take them to a drive thru and let them order a movie on pay-per-view, but they seem to be just as happy with that too!  We make donations to our children’s schools when we can and also to a variety of charities.  I volunteer in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at our local hospital as part of a parent support group and am also on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization that also offers support to NICU families across the country.  I am on the Board of the Mothers of Multiples Club, a group that offers support for Mothers with twins, triplets or more, in our area.  I think its important to be a contributing member of the community and these are just a few of the ways I accomplish that mission.

As a SAHM it is sometimes hard to juggle all these things and still keep the schedules of 3 busy children.  But I manage, and often that means heading out to a meeting in the evening to discuss strategies for fundraising or stealing away a few minutes to send an email or crafting a Facebook plea  encouraging family and friends to contribute what they can as well.  And even though it sometimes means spending time away from my own family, I also do it because it makes me feel like I still have my own identity.  That doesn’t mean that the guilt doesnt creep into my spirit as my children whine, “please Mama, don’t go!”  But I am always honest with them.  I will tell them where I am going, “Mama is going to a meeting to help families with sick babies in the hospital” or “Mama has to go pick a Midshipman up from school” or “Mama has her Mothers of Multiples meeting” etc.

Last week I was volunteering in my oldest child’s 1st grade classroom and I realized that my own philosophy of leading by example has led my child has become a giving and civic-minded individual himself.  His class is publishing a book and they have settled on the topic of making a difference in the world.  My child, F., was encouraged by his teacher to read to me what he was planning on writing on his page of the book, and I have to tell you as I sat and listened my heart melted a bit and my eyes were filled with tears of pride.  F’s page is all about donating food and clothing to people who are less fortunate then himself.  There was something so special about the warmth in his words that taught me another life lesson that day.  Sometimes teaching your kids to do what you want them to do starts by doing it yourself.

How do you get your kids involved in the community?


One Response to “Teaching Your Kids to Give Back”
  1. Skinny Sushi says:

    I love this, and I love YOU for all the work you do. Don’t forget that you visit bedrest mommies in the hospital, and walk for charities.

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