Different Ages, Different Perspectives

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Two boys with homemade flowers

You can find ideal family volunteering situations with a bit of scouting around. When you consider your kids' ages, think about where they'll feel welcomed and where their skills can best be put to use.

Once you identify an organization to help, be sure to tell their staff your kids' ages before you go. Everyone wants the experience to be a success for everyone. Keep these tips in mind, too:

Kids 9 & Under

Plan to work alongside your children to guide and encourage them (plus keep an eye on them). That way you can share observations and later talk about the experience.

Kids 10 to 14

Look for opportunities where your middle school kids can have more independence. You don't necessarily have to work side by side plus it gives your child a chance to demonstrate more responsibility. Ensure any supervisory role you do play enhances your child's experience and strengthens their independent abilities.

Kids 15 & Older

Opportunities abound to volunteer with older kids. In addition, your child may be required to perform community service as part of their high school curriculum. Ask your child how you can help: be ready with encouragement and to roll up your sleeves!