Volunteering can give children confidence and self-esteem. As a low-key 9-year-old, our only son, Jonathan, felt excluded and overshadowed by peers and classmates who displayed their prowess in sports.
Recognizing that he needed his own arena in which to shine, my husband and I closely observed Jonathan to discover where he had natural aptitudes and skills. We noticed how Jonathan enjoyed interacting with younger children, so I asked the director of a local church preschool if Jonathan could volunteer. Jonathan became a teacher’s helper and a favorite play partner for the 4-year-olds. They adored his attention and responded favorably to his assistance in their class. Jonathan soon realized he was valuable, and we saw his self-confidence grow.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2010 issue of
Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2010 by Karen Schmidt. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.