In times of trouble, they say to look for the helpers – we say, why not become one yourself? From fighting overseas to floods here at home – not to mention the lingering stress of a global pandemic – the current state of the world is enough to make you (and in turn, your kids) feel helpless. But the good news is, you’re not! Here are five ways your family can make a positive difference.
Play to your strengths
Have you heard about Miila Bijou? She’s a 10-year-old Byron Bay local making positive change by creating her own beautiful artworks. She invited her followers (now in the thousands) to pay what they thought was fair for their own customised artworks, with all of the proceeds going to flood victims. Word spread fast – especially with the help of national news coverage – and now Miila is setting up her own website to manage future orders. Cool, right?! It makes you wonder how your kids
When you’re feeling helpless about the state of the world, the best thing to do is to start close to home. Help your kids find a cause they are passionate about, be it animal welfare, homelessness or sickness. Volunteering is a great way for your children to make real change in the world (and also provide them with a gentle reminder of what they have to be grateful for).
It’s unfortunate but true that creating real change often requires funding. Luckily, every bit counts! Start brainstorming fundraiser ideas with your children, whether it’s a cake or lemonade stand, a garage sale or a fun run. They could attempt it all on their own, or enlist their friends and family members to help out. To spread the word, try making a post in your neighbourhood’s Facebook page or sending a round robin email at work (if you’re allowed to).
If you can’t raise money, the next best thing to do is raise awareness. This could mean joining in on a march or candlelight vigil in your area, starting a petition to create change in government or even having your child write a letter or film a video explaining why they are passionate about the issue at hand. Never underestimate the power of social media!
Random acts of kindness
We often hear about people ‘paying it forward’ or conducting a random act of kindness – why couldn’t that person be you? Kids are just as capable as adults of doing kind things for others, whether it is reaching out to a classmate in need or giving away one of their favourite toys to someone less fortunate. As parents, it’s a good idea to not only encourage them to go out of their way to help change someone’s day, but to lead by example!
This is an easy one, but it’s not done anywhere near enough. Rather than sitting around and focusing on all of the bad that’s in the world, take steps toward creating change while also being grateful for everything you do have. By that same token, remember that simply saying ‘thank you’ can mean a lot to others. It can be easy to think that we live in a thankless society, so remind your children that they can be the good that others look for in the world.