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Helping Your Children to Give Back

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It was once said by a famous playwright that youth is wasted on the young. While most of us that have made our way into adulthood understand the sentiment behind that quote, it might be better to look to Aristotle for inspiration:

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“Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.”

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In fact, we now know this to be true. A few months ago, we talked about a study that showed that the biggest indicator of whether or not our children will grow to be charitable is talking to children about charity.

By talking about ways in which youth can give back to their community and, more importantly, showing them the ways, kids can have a profound impact, even on a global level.

In honor of Global Youth Service Day, we asked some bloggers that are passionate about social good to share some of their favorite posts about helping kids get involved in their community and giving back.

From Elena Sonnino, blogger at LiveDoGrow

What is a Global Citizen? from her session at +Social Good and her accompanying toolkit with lots of great resources on how to get your kids involved.

How to Empower Youth, her guest post on Impatient Optimists about believing in our children’s ideas and potential as change agent.

Jessica Cohen, blogger at Eat. Sleep. Be.

How Charity Begins at Home: Acts of Kindness for Kids is especially important for younger kids just learning the model of giving back.

How to Raise Socially Responsible Kids focuses on shaping your kids to become socially responsible and make giving back part of their every day.

And if you’re looking for real moms with real stories about how they showed and helped their kids to give back, these bloggers shared their personal experiences.

Erin Lane from A Parenting Production shared how she teaches her young children about giving through toy donations and spare change in the red buckets over the holidays.

Nicole at Moments That Define Life helped her 6 year old daughter with a food drive as part of her troop’s community service project.

Julie Meyers Pron at Julieverse turned her son’s drive to find a way to give back by getting involved in a radiothon to help a local children’s hospital.

If you have older children, they may already be involved in programs as community service is becoming more and more of a requirement for high school graduation. Encourage your kids to consult a site like Volunteen Nation and find volunteer opportunities right in your own community.

Whether it’s a small or large project, on the local or global level, kids of all ages are having an impact on their community. We’d love to hear some of the ways you and your children are giving back.

Fadra Nally is a Communications Specialist for Johnson & Johnson. When she’s not working, she’s mothering a precocious 7 year old in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD. In her spare time, she writes All Things Fadra, one of the Top 100 Mom Blogs for 2012 according to She’s also the co-founder of Charitable Influence.

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