A person recently asked, “I’d like caregiving to become a natural part of what my family does together. How can we involve our children in caregiving? In particular, how can we involve teenagers?”
It is helpful if parents let it be known that caring for those who are suffering or hurting is just what we do as a Christian family. Caring is a given; however, each family member can choose how he or she wants to participate. For children and teens, an obvious choice is to help a neighbor out. Likely, there is someone they know in the neighborhood or apartment complex where you live that could use a special spirit lifter. For example, if a neighbor is elderly and confined to her house, how can each member of the family care for her? Some possibilities are:
- Make cookies or help prepare a meal.
- Play a musical instrument or sing.
- Design a card or draw a picture.
- Volunteer to mow the grass, sweep the sidewalk, etc.
- Make a prayer shawl .
- Offer to do errands.
- Put together a collage of family pictures.
- Learn and present a series of jokes or type them as a handout.
- Wash a car.
When teenagers (or anyone, really) use their hobbies, talents, and areas of interests in caregiving, it makes caring for someone easier, more fun and more satisfying.