giving back

Simple Ways to Teach Your Kids Life Skills

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We talk a lot here about how you can serve others and teach your kids. We've talked about how to get them excited about science and helping others. Now let's take just a moment to talk about a few specific ways to teach them about various causes, since "teach" is this week's Season of Service verb.

10 Simple Ways to Teach Your Kids Important Life Skills

  1. Play one of the games at with one of your kids to teach them that creativity is a good thing, and that trusting in one's creativity can sometimes lead to great inventions.
  2. Watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and see if you can make a home-made version of one of the booby traps Indiana Jones faces, with the clues to a successful escape from the trap being provided by your kids' completion of some spelling or multiplication problems. See if you can teach them that homework can be fun.
  3. Take your kids on a walk through a favorite park or mountain trail. Arm them with long-handled grabbers and plastic bags, and look for any trash along the way. Teach them about how litter can end up in our water supplies, and why that's a bad thing.
  4. Teach your child strategies for making their school day more interesting; maybe by doing a role-reversal role play where you are the student and your child the teacher.
  5. Teach your kids your home phone number, cell phone numbers of both parents, a grandparent's phone number, etc. Make sure they commit them to memory so that they are prepared in case of emergency.
  6. Make some bookmarks with your kids and have them hand them out to friends or neighbors, reminding others to read a good book. This will teach your kids to think of creative ways to help others.
  7. Offer your kids one treat now or two treats in five minutes to teach them to delay gratification, a necessary skill for a successful life.
  8. Check the website of your local hospital to see if there are any opportunities for your teenagers, if you have any, to volunteer (with or without you) to help with patients or siblings by playing games, making crafts, reading stories, or taking a walk. This might teach them empathy.
  9. Host a one-time Makers' Club to teach the satisfaction that comes from making things with your own hands.
  10. Buy and serve one new fruit or vegetable this week to teach your kids that healthy eating can be tasty eating.

How Will You Give to Others This Week?

  • Have you ever done any of these things? How did it go?
  • What other acts of service have inspired you?
  • How have others given to you this week and what difference has that made in your life?

How Else Can You Make a Difference This Season?

  • Commit to do one act of kindness/service based on the week’s challenge.
  • Leave a comment with ideas relating to the week’s challenge as well as your experience(s) performing it.
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