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Teenagers Doing Charity Work

by Lucie Westminster, studioD

Shaping your teen into a productive member of society is something you strive for on a daily basis. You want your young adult to spend his time away from school and other extra-curricular activities doing something that benefits both the community and himself. Encouraging your teenager to do charity work through some type of volunteering is one way of doing this.

Age-Appropriate Volunteer Activities

By the time your child is in her teens, she has developed her own interests and talents. It's important to help her find charity work that inspires her and plays to her strengths and interests but also find work that is appropriate for her age group. If your teen is interested in the medical field, volunteering to visit patients or read books to kids in the hospital are more appropriate activities than ones that require more advanced education and skills. Local businesses like law offices, grocery stores and non-profit organizations may offer internships specifically designed for teens. These opportunities ensure your child is responsible for tasks that are educational but also appropriate for a teen's skill set and maturity level.

Personal Benefits

Selecting the right volunteer opportunity gives your child the chance to see if her passion might lead to a career in that particular field. If she enjoys working with children, volunteering at your church daycare or weekend school gives her the chance to plan lessons and work with young kids just as she would as a certified teacher. Working with others as she volunteers also teaches your teen teamwork and responsibility. One of the most important lessons your teen learns while volunteering is tolerance, which is one that is best taught through experience and exposure.

College Application Benefits

While not the main reason for your teen's charity work, there are certainly benefits to his college application. With the competitiveness of college applications, it is important to give your teen the best chance of getting into the school of his choice. One way to help your teen stand out in a sea of applications is through charity work. Not only does it prove to colleges he is responsible, but also demonstrates that he cares about his community and shows up when he is scheduled to do so.

Special Considerations

Each teenager differs in what she enjoys doing and what she can tolerate. The volunteer activity itself may be the perfect match, but if her beliefs don't align with the sponsoring organization's mission statement, your teen won't have an enjoyable and educational experience. Before signing your teen up for any volunteer activity, visit the organization in person or investigate its website, and read about its mission statement and purpose. Keeping charity work a positive experience for your teen through proper research reduces the chances of volunteering for an organization that does not align with your personal belief system.

About the Author

Based in Texas, Lucie Westminster has been a writer and researcher since 1975. Her work has been published in journals such as "Psychological Reports" and "Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior." Westminster's interests include developmental psychology, children, pets and crafting. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Miami University.

Photo Credits

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