Alright, first off, take a deep breath and get yourself some chocolate. Feel better? Good. Now, YOU are not the one who should be doing this! Your teen was assigned the community service, not you! The best way to help them is to stand in front of whatever MTV show they are watching and tell them to get off of the couch and log on to boomerangfoundation.org. We are here to help!
There are natural consequences to putting things off; it becomes more difficult to get it done and your teen may not get credit or graduate. There are also natural consequences for compassionate hard work in service of others or addressing important issues: a deep sense of purpose and meaning. Make sure your desire to be supportive does not rob your teen of the depth of this experience. Like a Boomerang, you get back what you give. The truth is, your teen will get as much out of his community service project as he puts in.
YOU are not the one who should be doing the community service assignment or worrying incessantly about how he’s going to get it done. Your teen was assigned the community service, not you! The best way to help is to guide and facilitate; don’t do it for him. By doing it for him or by forcing him to do something that may not have meaning to him, your “helping” may do more harm than good in allowing him to learn the value and benefits of community service. Remember, you’re there to support and facilitate opportunities, not to find or force them.
Truthfully, one of the last things a busy nonprofit needs is to answer calls from parents looking for a way to get their teen’s community service paper signed. Remember, it is not the mission of most nonprofit organizations (except ours!) to help teens find community service opportunities. And most busy nonprofits do not have the time or resources to help parents find community service opportunities for teens who should be finding the opportunities themselves.
This website is here to help! Browse the site with your teen. Check out our student page to be inspired by projects others have done, get words of wisdom and helpful tips, find toolkits for your teen to start his or her own projects, or to find out a little bit more about local organizations that not only want your teen’s help, but need it!
Hit the student tab at the top of the home page. Next, check out our student page to be inspired by projects others have done, get words of wisdom and helpful tips, find toolkits for your teen to start his or her own projects, or to find out a little bit more about local organizations that not only want your teen's help, but need it!