During a Time of Crisis: 4 Ways We Can Teach Our Children to Give Back

It’s hard to escape the endless news of COVID-19 and its impact on our community and around the world. It’s also hard to escape the growing feeling of isolation as we avoid public spaces and community events. Countless anticipated weddings, sporting events, festivals, and trips are being cancelled; leaving us feeling even more isolated. Generosity is a powerful counter force to isolation. Our ability to give help and hope allows us to make a meaningful impact and focus on what we can do in times of social distancing.  

Here are four examples of what our students can be doing that build community and lessen anxious thoughts.  

Be A Good Neighbor

You may not know all of your neighbors, but now may be a good time to reach out. Create a neighborhood group that can collaborate to meet neighbor’s needs should they arise. Offer to pick up necessary prescriptions, medications, or basic food items for elderly neighbors. Creating a supportive community may mean more than you realize for those who live alone. Have your children brainstorm ideas for making neighbors feel loved and supported during this time. Make a simple stack of cards with words of encouragement and take your student on a walk up the street and place one at every doorstep.  

Remember Our First Responders

Doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and first responders are already at capacity. Consider sending them thank you letters or have you children create artwork to send them. This is a creative way to keep your at-home children busy and helping others.  Plus, this is a fun create outlet for student’s to write, create a piece of art, and experience a touch point with community service.

 Craft for Good

Find ways to keep your little ones busy by creating crafts that you can give away as gifts, such as handmade note cards with encouraging messages, homemade dog biscuits, or jars of dry cookie mix. Keep these on hand to share with those you come across throughout the week.  Plus, this is also a great way to open your children’s creativity by simply asking them to open the junk drawer in your home and allowing them to pull out items that can be combined into a great art piece. Glue, paperclips, string, and a few coins. Just imagine what that can become!

Be Kind

Look for ways to be kind every day. Everyone deals with stress and anxiety differently. A kind word and smile go a long way and is truly a simple action that can have a profound positive impact. Reach out online to share encouragement, a compliment, reliable information and positive thoughts. For your smaller children, pull out your cell phone and ask them to create a test that will be sent to grandma, aunt, or cousin.  For your teens, ask that they do that on their own. For those that are willing, ask that they set up a group text and get the whole family involved locally or across the county. Kindness is always worth sharing!

Although it may seem like everything around you is falling apart, it is also an opportunity to model generosity, kindness, and love to one another. Our children can learn valuable lessons by watching our own behavior. We may not be able to shake hands, but we can lend a helping hand to others in a time of isolation and loneliness. Let’s teach our children that in times of uncertainty, they can make a difference in the lives of those around them.