Get Hip: What White Folks Teach Their Kids Early

Sebastian (LEFT) with his buddies

Let me start by saying that I am not trying to generalize … only stating MY observations.

There is really no easy way to say this, but, (most) White Folks teach their kids at an early age about the importance of volunteering and the importance of giving back.

Volunteering is the new Black — it’s fashionable; deals are made; lives are changed; skills are learned; character/personalities are transformed; leaders are groomed and networking is taught.

So, I ask you, what are your children doing this summer?

I’ve read many stories, books, and interviews about influential folks such as Lee Iacocca, Bill Gates, Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg and they all said their parents made them volunteer as a child and how it made them a better person.

Sebastian, my son, really tested my husband and I this past year with his antics at school and the “I know everything” at age 11.

My thought this past January was how can I teach him responsibility, leadership, morals, and pay-it-forward without my foot on his back?

After careful research, thought and therapy, I contacted several camps about the possibility of my 11 year old volunteering as a Junior Camp Counselor and in return (he) would receive a letter of recommendation for the Key Club upon starting middle school in September. Not to mention – he gets to attend camp for FREE during a long RECESSION.

Let me say that the late Reginald Lewis made it his business to give back, volunteer and donate to worthwhile organizations; it’s great to see his family is continuing the tradition.

Here is why volunteering is a win-win situation:

1) Everyone needs free labor. Select wisely.
2) Embrace Literacy. Have your child write an essay about their experience to promote self-esteem and awareness
4) Get social – encourage your child to make a video/DVD about his camp experience and present it to the camp as a thank you
5) Volunteering teaches responsibility
6) Learn the principle of working for goods – sneakers aren’t FREE
7) It’s the right thing to do

Let me know how your child will spend the summer and your thoughts on volunteerism?

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  1. Great list of ideas! My children are 7 and 8 years old and my hubby and I will be introducing them to the world of entrepreneurship on most days. I definitely think volunteerism is a useful tool to introduce early and often. I do NOT think I contientiously thought about it until I was pledging my sorority. My mom always volunteered at our church as a Sunday School teacher and pitched in where needed but I just didn’t pay it much attention as a child. I think the learned appreciation of helping those who can not for whatever reason help themselves is a definite teachable moment in the 21st century for the African American FUTURE DREAMER, LEADER AND ACHIEVER! Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Joan,
    Thanks for your comment and I applaud you for introducing your children to volunteerism. All the best!

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