In families that share family and business, it is easy for their time to be taken up by the essentials of daily living. It can become a work-and-little-play situation. If this scenario sounds all too familiar, think about balancing out the family by incorporating volunteering into your family’s lifestyle. What? You have no time, you say? Well, consider what family volunteering can do for you and your family, before you conclusively make up your mind.
Family volunteering produces quality time. This includes:
• Establishing common bonds while helping others.
• Discovering new knowledge about each other.
• Mutual respect as demonstrating skills and learning new ones are processed.
• Deeper and meaningful conversations around the dinner table.
Convinced, but need help getting started? Call a family meeting and take time to consider this whole idea. Make sure everyone, no matter how young, participates in the discussion. You might want to proceed this way:
• Explore and list current volunteer efforts.
• Everyone has a community concern. Discuss each person’s concern.
• Consider the possibilities and efforts involved. Be realistic in determining how much time and effort the family can afford.
To arrive at the best volunteering scenario for your family may require several family meetings, but if you are looking for meaningful and quality time together, this time will be well spent. A one-time activity may be a good place to start. Perhaps look close to home for an opportunity, such as raking leaves for an elderly neighbor. This will provide an opportunity to see how everyone likes volunteering together.
Show your children that volunteer work is important and meaningful by taking your commitment seriously. Even when things are hectic, keep the commitment alive by talking and planning. Think about how this experience will enable you to pass along your legacy of values and ethics to your children, giving them not only an important example, but wonderful family memories as well.