How to Raise a Caring Child: Start Early

As we gear up for our Annual Tobin Family Volunteer Fair (taking place on Saturday, November 3), we would like to reflect on the role of community service and young children at Tobin School Westwood. We know that many parents are passionate about teaching their children to help others in need. Parents have shared their stories, along with their desire for their children to appreciate all they have and to be empathetic to those around them. That’s what our Volunteer Fair is all about. It is an opportunity for parents, teachers, and children to all work together for and in their community. By working alongside our children to give back, we are setting an example and starting a conversation. Here is what was going on at one of our activity tables during last year’s fair:

Scene:  Child working alongside his dad and teacher, cutting fleece strips to make blankets for the My Stuff Bags Foundation, a non-profit that distributes brand new and age-appropriate toys, books, stuffed animals, clothing and often homemade “security” blankets to children who have suffered from abuse, neglect or abandonment.

Child: “Where are these blankets going?”

Teacher: “These blankets are going to children who don’t have blankets and need to stay warm this winter.”

Dad chimes in: “Mom and I are able to work to buy you blankets. Some people don’t have enough money to buy blankets, so we are making these for them.”

Child: “I want a child to stay warm with this blanket.”

Admittedly, our volunteer fair is not about the finished product. We are not focusing on how many blankets are made, or how much lemonade is sold to support another charity, Alex’s Lemonade. What we are doing is starting a conversation with our children and showing them that helping others is within their reach. By showing them how we give back, we are actively teaching empathy. And by involving children in this process, we empower them to not only help but also to feel comfortable giving back. The goal is to help them grow into members of society who are giving, caring, and loving adults. That’s why our Volunteer Fair is such an important event for us each fall at Tobin School Westwood. View our event flyer here.