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If you are passionate about making the world a better place, why not get your children involved? Kids are highly impressionable, they learn the most from their environment and from the influence they have around them. If you teach your children the importance of looking after the environment and living sustainably, the chances are they will grow up with the same ideology and beliefs that you hold. 

Remember, your children are the future. Your children’s decisions will be a critical factor towards whether the world changes for the better or for worse. 

The Duties of Parenting

As a parent, you have many different roles. Not only do you need to be a parent to your child, but you also need to be their friend, their advisor, and their educator. You need to inspire them, to make the right decisions and to inform them on how they should make choices to help structure a better world, starting from your very household. Children learn best from visually watching things happen, so if you are trying to enforce sustainable habits on your kids through good practice, the chances are, for example, they will recognize that recyclable materials should get disposed of in a different manner than general household waste. 

Start with Yourself

What message do you want to pass on to your children? In what way do you aim to make the world a better place? How can you implement such a message in your children’s everyday lives? Once you have answers to these questions, that is when you can begin involving your kids. It is important that you practice what you preach. If you are promoting a world which uses less plastic, you should be using as little plastic as possible yourself, whether that is by not continuing to purchase products that come in excessive packaging, or by simply re-purposing any plastic bags you may already have at home. 

Donate to Charities 

Have you ever been personally affected by a charity in any way? Perhaps you or someone you love received treatment for a critical illness because of the help of a certain charity, or maybe you have simply found one of their adverts on TV very emotive and upsetting. 

Teaching your kids, the importance of donations, especially donations to charities, is an important part of their understanding of how such organizations operate, as many rely on public contributions. Even if you can donate as little as $1 every now and then – it all adds up and helps to keep them going. 

Reduce Carbon Footprint

Are you guilty of getting into your car and driving to the local store, instead of walking two blocks? 

If you teach your children to rely on transport for local ventures, it will not be surprising when they possess the same bad habits when they are finally old enough to drive. If you are serious about reducing your carbon footprint, you should focus on living as sustainably and as eco-friendly as possible. 

Things to consider:

  • Eat local produce
  • Switch to clean energy providers
  • Recycle as much as possible

Give to the Less Fortunate

It is time to think on a wider scale, by considering less fortunate people in lower economically developed countries. Sending clothing and other resources to victims of natural disasters are important projects for Michael Savage of New Canaan and similar projects could be a good starting point for your children to get involved in giving to less fortunate people. 

Often, children do not recognize their privileges, so it could be beneficial for them to begin to appreciate what they do have and to stop dwelling on what they do not have. 

Support Campaigns 

Are there any campaigns that are close to your heart? Perhaps you are passionate about saving the polar bears, or saving the coral reefs, whatever campaign you choose to advocate with your children, there are ways you can show your support in your day to day lives. For example, if you are all strongly concerned for the extinction of the polar bear, then why not buy t-shirts for the entire family, which promote the message you intend to convey, such as ‘save the polar bears’. This is a brilliant way to make your children feel as though they are part of a wider community, supporting a fantastic cause. 

Spend More Time on Education

Some of life’s most important lessons are not taught in the classroom, but at home. When you spend time on educating your children, to ensure they possess the beliefs you know the world needs to see positive change (by informing them on the importance of gender equality, for example) they are more likely to be the change you want to see. 

Volunteer

There are countless organizations out there, which provide volunteering opportunities for children and families. Start by focusing on local organizations and facilities which may be looking for volunteers, as not only will you and your children be actively involved in helping make the world a better place, but it will also be a wonderful way for you to bond as a family. 

Random Acts of Kindness

You could buy an elderly person’s shopping, give flowers to a woman walking on the sidewalk, or write a write a thoughtful message for a stranger to pass by and read. 

There are countless ways you can make somebody’s day through a random act of kindness, and the best part about it is that it can cost absolutely nothing.

Do Things the Old Fashioned Way

In an ever-evolving, technology orientated world, it is sometimes nice to teach your kids that some things are best done the ‘old fashioned way’. Although your children may be used to entertaining themselves by relying on TV and gadgets, you should teach them that some of the best things in life do not require you to glare at a screen, such as reading a book or going for a walk.

 As much as innovative technology is incredibly useful to a modern society, it is important for our children’s generation to appreciate ‘old fashioned’ forms of entertainment, so that they are able to unwind and appreciate all the world has to offer.   

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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