Surviving the tumultuous teenage years can be challenging. Would you love to help your children navigate the hazards and become healthy happy adults? Fortunately, there’s something you can do! You can help your children become givers.
Stephen Post, PhD, a bioethics professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and president for the Institute of Research on Unlimited Love, shares some research in his book, Why Good Things Happen to Good People. He summarizes:
Teens who actively volunteer do better in life: they have higher grades in school, use less drugs and alcohol, have lower pregnancy rates, and are likely to continue volunteering for the rest of their lives.
Stephen Post writes that Margaret Beale Spencer of University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Health Achievement, Neighborhood Growth, and Ethnic Studies conducted a study that shows “Inner-city, under-privileged junior high boys had significantly lower emotional distress if their helping behavior was high”.
And Post writes about a study that began in 1920. 200 individuals have been interviewed once every 10 years on topics ranging from family, work, health, leisure, volunteer activities, personal interests, and social and political attitudes. Paul Wink of Wellesley College, after reviewing this data and conducting his own interviews with the participants, concludes that those who volunteered and participated in other generous and altruistic behavior in their teens:
- tend to end up in a higher social class regardless of social class, IQ, or religiousness.
- are more likely in middle age to have “an adequate health plan, less likely to smoke, less likely to drink a lot, and more likely to have physical checkups.”
- tend to have higher social competence.
Give, because it will help your children become givers which will help them lead healthier and happier lives.