Unleash the Super Hero in Your Little One!

I applaud all of those parents who finance, sacrifice time and sanity to schlep their kids to every lesson, camp or class to support their child’s passion. Just maybe they’ll make it to Federer or Beyonce status; more likely, the activity will be a fond memory (I personally haven’t had the desire to be in a marching band in years) as the demands of adult life kick in.

That said, if you truly want to find something that any child can excel in and will actually carry with them the rest of their lives, here’s a thought about where they need to be directing some of their focus: social consciousness.

I had the opportunity to meet some of the amazing young people who head up KIDBOX’s Kid’s Board of Directors – kids who are killing it in the kindness arena, enriching their lives and the lives of others. In a world full of “celebrities,” these are true superstars, carving out time to collecting crayons for children’s hospital playrooms and creating kits for the homeless.

Whether it’s an organized product drive, sharing birthday money to support a cause, or using “school’s out” time to volunteer, here’s a few tips to get you on your way:

  • Start early.
    • Always wanted to get into modeling? Now’s your chance – as your child’s role model. Little kids are parent pleasers. When my friend’s 5-year-old asked her why she baked so many cookies over the holidays, she explained that she liked to bring the extra ones to the volunteer firehouse as a way to say thank you. Her daughter not only wanted to help but added the idea of her making a big thank you card for them. This has become a family tradition ever since.
    • Utilize circumstances.
      • Every family knows someone who has battled illness. And, with 24/7 news coverage, we are all exposed to the suffering of others. Talk to your child about what’s going on – they probably already are aware but don’t know how to deal with it. One of the KIDBOX kids told me that when she first met her grandfather, she learned from her mom that he had been homeless for years. It inspired her to start, at only 11, an organization called Snuggle Sacks, containing toiletries, socks and other items for the homeless.
    • Do it because it’s good for them – and you.
      • I know there’s never enough hours in a day, but like exercising and eating right, giving is a wellness activity. Studies show that it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure; increases life spans and promotes social connections.
    • Let them inspire YOU!
      • If your child comes home with a project or asks you how to help someone, encourage them and provide ideas and research, but let them lead the project.

Get this going, and your child can go door to door this Halloween as him – or her! – self! Who needs a costume when he or she is ALREADY an Everyday Hero?