How can I interest my adolescent in volunteering?
Almost all kids can get enthusiastic about volunteering if it's the right activity at the right time. Try these ideas:
Remind your child of the times others have helped him or other members of your family, and how much it's mattered in your lives. Let him know how significant his contribution can be, what a difference he can make. Explain that helping one another out is a moral obligation and builds a better world.
Get him involved in choosing the volunteer activity and the time commitment. When kids feel they have a choice about what they'll be doing, they're more likely to engage.
Consider your kid's interests and personality. A computer lover might latch on to helping older people (or kids) learn computer skills. A sports nut may get excited about a job as an assistant coach for a youth soccer, hockey or T-ball team. If your son enjoys driving, he could take on a Meals on Wheels route or make deliveries for a food bank. If he's an organizer, he might be inclined to brainstorm a food or clothing drive.
Finally, build in ways to make the experience more fun. Perhaps your son and a friend could volunteer for an event together, and you could celebrate the event's completion with a big spaghetti dinner.