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Creating Opportunities for Children & Teens to Contribute

Creating Opportunities for Children & Teens to Contribute Creating Opportunities for Children & Teens to Contribute

Confident young people who recognize their competencies, who feel connected to people, and who have a strongly rooted character are poised to contribute to the world.

Children and teens who take active steps to contribute will receive ongoing feedback and gain experiences that prepare them to thrive. Parents and communities who ensure ample opportunities for children to contribute will build the next generation of leaders.

How Contribution Fosters Resilience

Contemporary culture is so focused on material things like electronic equipment, expensive shoes and clothes, cosmetics, and cars. Children naturally get swept up in this tide because they see it all around them.

What Parents Can Do to Encourage Giving

To counter this influence or put it in perspective, parents can support opportunities for children to give rather than receive. Children will learn that the universe doesn’t revolve around them or owe them everything they desire. When they raise money for earthquake relief, collect recyclables, or tutor younger children, they gain a more realistic perspective of the world and their places in it. They begin to see beyond their isolated, self-oriented circles. They recognize themselves as part of larger communities in which they can make a difference.

How Children Can Contribute to Society

Children can contribute to society in a multitude of ways:

  • Collecting coins to feed the hungry
  • Cleaning up the environment
  • Volunteering with children who have physical disabilities
  • Spontaneous acts of generosity and courtesy such as holding open heavy doors for a parent pushing a baby stroller or someone carrying heavy bags

Contribution directly fosters resilience because it helps children gain a sense of purpose, something positive to strive toward and achieve.

Additional Information

Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, MS Ed, FAAP
Last Updated
Building Resilience in Children and Teens, 2nd Edition (Copyright (Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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