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  • Writer's pictureRRC

5 Benefits of Volunteering for Kids

There are many reasons to volunteer. Here are just a handful if you still need convincing.

1. Volunteering makes happier kids

According to research, volunteers don't just benefit the communities they work in. In fact, those that volunteer report an improvement in their mental health, which is encouraging given that over a third of Americans constantly report experiencing signs of anxiety or sadness. That’s true for adults and more so for kids. Kids benefit even more from the connection with others in the community.

2. A great way to get kids off the screen

A 2019 National Institutes of Health (NIH) study shows that children who engaged in screen-related activities for more than two hours per day performed worse on language and thinking tests, and some children who engaged in screen-related activities for more than seven hours per day had thinner brain cortex, the part of the brain associated with critical thinking and reasoning.

Unfortunately, American teenagers are now spending 7 hours and 22 minutes per day on average on screen. Volunteering is a perfect alternative to screen time for kids and families.

3. Help kids develop compassion

Compassion promotes tolerance, acceptance, and kindness toward oneself and others.

It improves one's ability to understand other people and build lasting connections and relationships in life.

Through volunteering kids are able to better understand and appreciate struggles and sacrifices that parents routinely experience.

4. A way to spend quality time together as a family

Parenting takes a lot of time. But a lot of time is spent on busy tasks – commuting to school or activities and doing household chores. Working shoulder to shoulder in a food bank or nature reserve provides a time for family to bond in a setting away from the daily tasks of life.

5. Practice life skills and responsibilities

Today’s kids are working less than kids 40 years ago. The causes are many – greater academic pressures, less safe environment, whether from Covid or potential gun violence. But many life skills cannot be learned in classrooms or handed out at home. Volunteering provides an avenue to practice executive functioning, the skill highest correlated with a successful life in adulthood.

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