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Service: How to Get Teens Involved in Volunteer Service

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Why should your teen get involved in volunteer service? I'll give you one reason: Your teen needs to feel like a hero. Not every kid can be the popular one, score the winning goal, or win the top prize at the science fair, but every kid can do volunteer service.

Usually, the recipients of their efforts recognize that teens have busy lives and, typically, they are very appreciative and enthusiastic when kids show up to help them. That's what can make a kid feel like a hero.

A group of Boy Scouts

So, how do you go about it? Even if your child has never had a chance to do volunteer service, it's easy to find opportunities just about everywhere. For the best experience, you want to choose carefully. Help them pick something energetic and upbeat, something suited to their likes and hobbies, and hopefully something where they will have a chance to work with a group of similar-aged kids. Think telethon, food drive, leaf raking for the elderly, helping with a breast cancer walk, or a marathon event.

Working at an animal shelter, soup kitchen, or children's hospital can be rewarding and usually ends up being a great experience. Those situations might be depressing or emotional for more sensitive kids. You know your teen, so use your best judgement when suggesting their first service opportunities.

Helping as part of their church youth group, Scout Troop, or sports team will give your son or daughter a chance to enjoy serving alongside their friends and might make them more enthusiastic about giving it a try. Or if they are more outgoing, it might be a chance for them to meet up with a whole new group of kids.

Afterwards, you could take them out for a special meal and let them tell you all about their experience. Every hero loves an appreciative audience and it's a good time to start planning their next adventure.

How do you help your teens get involved in service opportunities?

Adrian's Crazy Life is just that, bits and pieces of my crazy life—my job, my three fabulous boys, my papercrafting business, my four grandkids, the whole enchilada. I'm always going 90 miles an hour with my hair on fire, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I love to give advice of all kinds, so I have lots and lots of posts on my site about decluttering, managing your finances, parenting, and whatever else I feel like an expert on that day. C'mon over and visit me at



Picture courtesy of Flickr

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