The world our children live in today is very different from the world we lived in when we were young. It has come with advances in technology that we could have never imagined possible. It has brought a new, and fast, way of learning, and living, to kids’ lives. With all the techno-gadgets kids have, it makes having human contact less necessary. Kids can get answers to questions, information, and even have a conversation, on their phones, iPads, and computers. This means asking a question, gathering facts, and socialization in person is no longer required. Solitary learning and data finding can be good for concentration, but technology dependence distances us more from others than in any other time in history and that has a direct impact on a child’s connection to others and community.
In recent history, or even the last few hours, you can turn on the news and hear about people in communities being victims of tragedy and violence. However, if you direct your attention away, for just a moment, from the sad news, you will hear about those in communities coming to the rescue of their neighbors. As adults, we take the time to step-up and help. We show our children it is a wonderful thing to step away from the computer screen and plug in with people; to connect in times of difficulty. Why must we wait for such times? Why not step-up now and teach them to be connected to their community and the greater good?
There are a lot of places and people in need of help, right in your own neighborhood. You have a lot of options, so you can choose something that interests your child. If your child likes dogs, take some old blankets to the local shelter or a rescue. If your child likes to cook, visit local, small restaurants to find out if they have a donation plan for their nightly left-overs. You can take them to a local homeless or abuse shelter. If your son or daughter has a passion for books, attend library books sales where you can get a big bag of books for less than $5.00, the take them to a shelter for children. Starting small opens the door to bigger things. If you have an elderly neighbor in need of some gardening help, take your child and some gloves to help clean their yard. You can even get some lovely little flowering plants at the local 99CENTS store to make your neighbor’s yard a little prettier.
As your children age, they can do more adult things, such as Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, and work with pets in need of affection and care. There is no limit to what one person can do to improve their community. Acquiring this love for social consciousness at an early age will last a lifetime.