Taken from Original Article by Edna Rienzi, NewDream.org
If you have kids, it’s a parenting no-brainer to get involved in a service project this holiday season. Several studies have shown that kids who volunteer experience a positive effect on their grades, attitudes toward education, and self-esteem.
Volunteering also leads to reduced drug use and huge declines in dropout rates and teen pregnancies.
There is also research linking youth volunteering to a higher quality of life as an adult, and showing that families that focus more on the material side of the holidays tend to feel less happy than families that focus on spending time together. What better way to spend time together than volunteering? It’s really the best gift you can give your children and yourselves.
Here are some ideas for Holiday Volunteering for Kids
1. Clothes and Toy Clean Out to Donate to Goodwill or Homeless Shelter.
2. Make Greeting Cards for a local nursing home, veteran's home or for sick children
3. Adopt a Soldier to teach your children about the sacrifices of the military.
4. Help Animals by making treats or toys to drop off at the local animal shelter. Or, make bird feeders out of pinecones, peanut butter and bird seed.
5. Help the Hungry - drop off food at the local foodbank.
6. Organize a Clothing Drive.
7. Random Acts of Kindness - make up care bags for the homeless, drop off cookies at the local fire department, police department or library. Leave change near a vending machine are just a few examples.
8. Give gifts that give back. Make a donation in a family member's name.
9. Sponsor a Family. Look for Giving Trees at churches or malls, or check out The Box Project.
10. Make Blankets to be dropped off at homeless or animal shelters. Visit Project Linus for more information.
See full article at https://newdream.org/blog/fun-holiday-service-projects-for-you-and-your-family
Like all moms, I love my children more than anything else in the world. As they were growing up, I tried to do all the right things to provide my kids with a childhood that was better than my own. As parents, we do that - we make many sacrifices so that our children will become well-rounded successful adults. My husband and I worked around each other's schedules so daycare wasn't needed. We volunteered in the schools, signed our kids up for activities through our local parks and recreation department, became members of the zoo, children's museums, and the conservatory, every holiday had to be Hallmark Channel perfect, we read to our kids every night, regardless of how tired we were. We tried to do it all. However, for me personally, the stress of trying to do everything right, in addition to having 2 kids a year apart, having one child born with a heart defect while still trying to work full-time, caused me to be a mom I didn't want to be - a mom that was always stressed out, yelled way too much, and missed out on opportunities to simply love and enjoy my kids. As they got older, I became more in control, but the damage was already done. My actions created a wall between me and my kids, and me and my husband that still today I struggle to tear down. I believe my kids love me, and they know I love them, but we don't have the close relationship I wanted more than anything else in the world. How ironic that in my efforts to do everything right, I actually did the most important things wrong. Being a crazy stressed out, yelling mom is the biggest regret of my life. It happens to everyone on occasion but my advice to all of you young moms is Don't let it get out of control and don't let it define who you are to your kids. Love and cherish your kids, spend time with them just having fun. Take time to recognize the sweetness and innocence of your kids - even when they don't seem so sweet! You don't have to sign them up for everything, you don't have to quit your job. Just love them. That's the best way to raise well-rounded, happy, successful adults.
Racism: Should We Teach Our Children to be Color Blind? Or To See Color?
Chip and Joanna Gaines are making sure their family is properly educated about racial injustice. The former Fixer Upper stars and their five kids — Drake, 15, Ella, 13, Duke, 12, Emmie, 10, and Crew, 23 months — appeared on the latest episode of Emmanuel Acho's "Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man" web series, and together the group had a poignant discussion about the concept of color-blindness, the necessity of confronting racism in America, and what the future holds in the fight for racial equality.
To start, Joanna admitted that up until very recently, she and Chip had been "proud" that they taught their kids to be "color-blind" when it comes to interacting with people of different races. She asked for Emmanuel's opinion on this lesson, and he explained why parents should actually be doing the opposite. "I think it's best that we raise our kids to see color because there's a beauty in color, and there's a beauty in culture."