Parenting Tips

How to Help Your Kids Make a Difference

How to Help Your Kids Make a Difference
Written by Emily Buys

How to Help Your Kids Make a Difference

Since I now have a high schooler and two more to come next year, I’ve been realizing that my parental influence is dwindling. I only have a few years left with my boys at home so I better make them count, right? Luckily I have more time with my daughter, but the pressure is on to be a proactive and diligent parent. Something I’ve been saying a lot lately is how badly I want my kids to grow up to be good humans. It won’t just happen because I want it to, so I’m upping my game with some serious encouragement and example setting. I’ve been following the TMobile Changemaker Challenge and it has inspired me to encourage my kids to make a difference in our community. This is good for so many reasons! I thought I’d share some of my tips with you, to help your kids make a difference!

TMobile is taking their mobile game up a notch with the T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge. The Un-carrier is inspiring youth to change the world for good by encouraging big ideas with positive long-lasting changes. TMobile has just revealed the the top six teams as winners, who received a visit to TMobile Bellevue, for a VIP, all expenses paid lab and mentoring experience as part of the first ever TMobile Changemaker Challenge. The winners will also receive $5,000 from the T-Mobile Foundation, in addition to another $5,000 each from CEO, John Legere.

How to Help Your Kids Make a Difference

These amazing youth with big ideas for change got to present their ideas to T-Mobile CEO, John Legere, and the winning projects are worth checking out. It’s so wonderful to see such inspirational youth making big changes in the world. Congratulations to ArtPass, Aware, Dios del Sol, Echo Effect, Peerlift, and The Yellow Tulip Project.

I’ve shared each of these projects with my kids and have been asking them how they can make change in our own community. This has been an ongoing conversation for the past year or so, as we’ve been preparing my oldest to receive his Eagle Scout Award. He’s about ready to start his project, while we’re still in the discussion stage with my nearly 13 year old twins. To help your kids make a difference, I recommend letting them read up on what these Changemaker Challenge contestants have done. Then I’ll explain the steps we’ve taken to pick a project and work on implementing it, for my son’s Eagle project.

How to Help Your Kids Make a Difference

How to Help Your Kids Make a Difference

First, do some research. Ask around in the community to see what is needed. Talk to friends and family and see if they know of any needs. Visit shelters, hospitals, schools and community centers and ask if there is anything they stand in need of. We talked with a local shelter for women and children and learned they are in need of a concrete pad under a shade covering that was donated a couple of years ago. There is an area to sit and visit outside, but it gets muddy and undesirable. A boy we know created a hundred “Beads of Courage” boxes, for children going through cancer treatments, to store their beads. My boys were pleased to be able to assist in this project by assembling and sanding boxes. My oldest made an appointment and met with our elementary school principal. They discussed any needs the school has, that would make for a great project led by a teenager. 

How to Help Your Kids Make a Difference

Second, talk to your kids and ask them if any particular cause stood out to them. After doing research did anything impact them? We ultimately decided to help clear the nature trail path of weeds and overgrowth, that is connected to our elementary school, and to create plaques to label all of the plants and trees. Science teachers will be able to use the nature trail to educate kids on nature and plant-life. This will be great for the community and the school, as it’s open to both. We often take family photos here because it’s so beautiful too!

How to Help Your Kids Make a Difference

Third, help your kids come up with fundraising activities to help pay for the community project. They also need to enlist extra hands because many hands make work light. It’s great to have them practice their phone skills and ask for volunteers to help with their project.

Fourth, be there to help your child implement their project. Be an example and a support to them so they’re encouraged to actually complete the project, but also to start another and another!

I hope you and your kiddos will join us, as well as the T-Mobile Changemaker Challengers, to make a difference in your community!

This post is sponsored by T-Mobile.

About the author

Emily Buys

13 Comments

  • Love all the ideas you mentioned and also love to learn about big companies promoting and offering rewards to kids for giving back. I’ll discuss this my kids and see how they want to give back.

  • I absolutely love this. So much more than I can say. The only way to make the world a better place is to raise kids who want to help make it happen. LOVE THIS!

  • I would love for my kid to make a difference in the way that he loves to do. We are still working on different things for him and what he likes but we definitely like to give back to others all the time.

  • I think this challenge is a great initiative to encourage kids to make an impact in the community. Having kids read what the contestants did can be inspiring.

  • I am all about having my kids help others! I think teaching kids to give back from a young age is how to make a difference.

  • Helping out where it is needed in a community is always a great idea. The one thing I really like in our education system in Ontario is that in order to graduate high school each student has to put in 40 volunteer hours.

  • My daughter is always coming up with fundraising schemes. She does want to donate the money which is nice. SHe just needs to work on getting to be a little bit more hands on.

  • I love this! I feel like kids are so eager to please and really love to feel like they are making a difference in this big world of ours!

  • Teaching your kids the importance of giving back is so great. I have been doing this more and more with my 10 year old and it makes them feel good to be doing something meaningful.

  • Such excellent work was done by you and some amazing companies! In today’s generation, it’s necessary to make your kid choose his own path and make difference through it and not imitate others.

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