Do you want your children to be caring and act selflessly? As parents, we must model the behaviour we want our children to adopt. Of course, we perform small selfless acts all the time- like sharing our food with them, running them to training and letting them decide which movie we see or park we visit.
These acts, however, form the tapestry of our everyday lives and, because they’re so commonplace, kids often fail to recognise them. These acts are also in service of our family, and to really demonstrate selfless behaviour, we sometimes need to do things that benefit friends and complete strangers too.
April 28th is Pay It Forward Day and it encourages us all to perform 1-3 good deeds without asking anything in return, so we’re sharing some ideas below that will help you do just that.
Paying it forward: Parents edition
Give another mum some me-time
We all know just how much good having a bit of me-time can do for the soul! Offer to take someone else’s child to school, have them over for a playdate (where the parent is comfortable enough to leave) or mind their baby or toddler for an hour or two so that they’re able to have a break and return refreshed and renewed to the non-stop role of parenting.
Volunteer your professional services
Most charities are eager to find skilled volunteers. Whether your professional talents include photography, graphic design, public relations, administration, events assistance or your ability to offer business or legal advice, there are plenty of meaningful ways you can support charities in the Shire who are doing critical work for vulnerable members of our community.
Put the ‘fun’ in fundraise
Fundraising for the many worthy causes within our community is important work and can be done in many different ways. From hosting a morning tea or girls night in, running a classic Bunnings BBQ, a raffle or committing to reach an ambitious fitness goal- charities welcome any and all efforts to fundraise for them and will usually provide a fundraising kit with steps and advice on their websites.
Teach them what counts
Did you know that since legislative changes were made in 2010, all families at public schools are able to elect for their child to go to ethics classes as an alternative to spending that time in supervised care or scripture classes. These secular classes aim to teach kids how to engage in respectful discussions, critical thinking and moral reasoning, but they rely on volunteer teachers to commit a couple of hours each week. By volunteering with Primary Ethics to teach ethics at a local school, you can help the generation growing up now to be kinder, more thoughtful citizens.
Donate (whatever you can!)
If your time-poor, one way you can ‘pay it forward’ that requires very little of your time, is to make a monetary donation. Consider one of these Shire-based charities or search the Official ACNC charities register to find a cause you truly connect with. You can also ask your workplace if they are able to make a regular pre-tax deduction from your pay as part of a “regular workplace giving” scheme. Many workplaces will even match it, so then your money is working twice as hard.
Not able to give money? We bet you’ve got at least a few books you’ll never read again, or things you’ve been meaning to sell (but will likely never get around to selling) that a local charity would love to take off your hands. Your goods may be given directly to families in need, or sold at an op-shop to raise funds for such families. Either way, you’ll have paid it forward in fine fashion and de-cluttered at the same time.
Another thing you may be able to donate, is your blood. A single blood donation can save three lives. Has there ever been a more powerful gift? You can give blood at the Shire Donor Centre in Miranda.
Shout a stranger
An oldie but a goodie. Next time you’re buying a coffee, leave a fiver on the counter for the next person in line. This simple, inexpensive act, takes no time and will make someone else’s morning a memorable one.
Modelling kind behaviour is only the beginning! Stay tuned for our article on how to inspire your kids to ‘pay it forward’, which is coming soon.
Have you got other ideas on how to pay it forward? We’d love to hear them! Let us know in the comments or share them on Facebook or Instagram tagging @mumsoftheshire