Finding time in today's busy hectic race to teach our children compassion can be challenging, but in the long run it is rewarding and worth every effort made.  It's easy for young preteens to forget that money doesn't grow on trees, or that everyone out there doesn't have the same as they have.  That's why I think it is important to teach your children to grow up to be caring, giving people.

Several recent studies show that kids are spending an average of 30 hours a week watching television.  Now, I am not saying there is anything wrong with watching tv.  But what if you just took 2 of those hours every week and spent it with your children doing something meaningful for someone else?  Imagine the rewarding feeling of accomplishment on your childs face when they see that they can make a difference in someone elses life?

And the best thing is, its free..and the possibilities are endless! I'm sure if you think about it, you know of someone who could use a little help, whether it's a family member or a neighbor.  Some ideas are offering to help with yard work for an elderly couple, or maybe cooking or cleaning for someone who is sick. You can also check with local agencies such as United Way or the Salvation Army.  These agencies always have a need for volunteers.  Some things that people don't realize is that some agencies need volunteers from people who offer a service, like cutting hair or teaching a GED class.  If your child is artistic, they could offer a painting or drawing class to other children at a women's shelter.  The list goes on and on.

These are great ideas for teenagers because they seem to often to take a lot of things for granted.  They are no longer little kids but not quite adults.  The greatest gift of all is showing love and compassion and helping others.  Your kids will thank you for it later!