Ways gifted kids can give back

It's important for parents to teach their kids about empathy and serving their community. Parents of gifted kids may find that their children are especially capable of giving back, even at a young age. Their high intelligence may prove helpful in many ways, and volunteering offers a way to develop emotionally as well. Here are some options to help your gifted kids give back to your community:

Mentor other kids
Gifted children often want to be with kids that are older but on par with their learning level. While this can offer many opportunities for learning and growth, gifted children can also benefit from spending time with kids their own age. They may even use their smarts to assist others who aren't learning as easily or quickly. Gifted children can learn emotional and social skills while being around their peers, and other students can learn from their impressive intellects. 

Follow their interests
Many gifted kids go through phases where they're super interested in a particular subject or person. They may spend hours looking up information on their topic of choice. Why not turn that interest into helping someone? Let's say your gifted son is really interested in Helen Keller. Why not have him learn about American Sign Language and volunteering at a school for the deaf or blind. He could learn a lot about human emotions and the specifics of hearing loss by spending time with people who are hearing impaired.

Donate to a cause they care about
Parents play an important role in teaching their children about money. Why not start early by helping them choose a charity to donate some money to? If your kids earn an allowance, consider having them choose a specific percentage to give to an organization they like. Explain how to tell what nonprofits are credible, like by searching the internet for news articles on the company and looking for businesses with the .org web address. You could even encourage your kids to check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure the credibility of a charity before donating.

Do some community clean-up together
Is your gifted kid interested in the environment and sustainability? This provides a perfect chance to get your family out into your community. Grab gloves and garbage bags and start picking up trash in your neighborhood. Visit your favorite park to do some cleanup there, and don't forget to talk about why you're doing this activity! Since many gifted kids are fans of statistics, have your children do some research on what they pick up. For example, ask them how long a plastic bag takes to break down in a landfill. Or, ask them to look up information on local flora and fauna that may be affected by human waste. Are there fish and aquatic animals that could be harmed by 6-pack rings in the water? Maybe raccoons get into trouble sticking their paws into aluminum cans looking for dinner. Your children will learn a lot while helping out in your community.

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