Alright guys, it's that time of year again. No, not when we find out if America's Got Talent. I'm talking about getting prepared to handle the most annoying complaint us parents are going to hear for the next three months (and please say this out loud with me whiney voice you can muster): "I'm sooooo bored. There's nothing to do.... [long exhaled whine]." We know it's coming. It's probably already been uttered here and there on the weekends or when you were working on your taxes. But now we're going to be faced with it in unprecedented fashion. Be warned, whining is coming.
Now listen, I don't blame kids for being bored. Their attention spans last about seven minutes (so does mine, be right back.... and I'm back). The way to combat this summer epidemic is to be prepared! This is where I've got your back. I'm introducing the Daily Dad's Summer of Service Challenge [fireworks going off in the distance, children clapping, a giant peace flag waving in the foreground]. Let me first explain how this came to be.
I was really lucky to be raised by parents that have always been socially conscious and very very giving of their time to the communities they lived in. I remember going to funerals and setting up chairs and tables, helping people move, mowing my elderly neighbor's lawns, and volunteering at a food bank growing up. In fact, their example helped me serve a two-year mission for my church in Canada. I've always loved getting out there and connecting with people by serving them or serving with them, and I have my parents to thank for that. The service we did growing up led me to really value opportunities today that present themselves where I get to serve.
There is no better way to change the world we live in than to be willing to get our hands dirty and help make the change we believe needs to be made. We must do service. So I decided that this summer I'm going to really focus on getting out there and serving my fellow men and women, brothers and sisters in humanity as it were, AND I'm going to work to instill in my children the same love for service that my parents instilled in me.
The difficulty with service is not a lack of desire, but it's a lack of ideas. A lot of people have expressed a desire to get out there and do more for the community or their neighborhood, but don't know where to even start. So I put my thinking cap on (it's next to my sweaty workout cap) and put a list of ideas together to give you some suggestions, tips, and opportunities to do some service. You can start with doing service for those in your home. You can move outward and look along your street and in your neighborhoods to serve. You can also participate in service opportunities for your community. Finally you can be apart of the many, many influential and inspiring global institutions in carrying out service projects all across the world. Whatever route you decide to go doesn't matter nearly as much as deciding to go!
Here's how my Daily Dad's Summer of Service Challenge works: your kids whine about being bored (or you just proactively tell your nuggets that you are in charge!) and you tell them to pick a service project from the list I've attached (and you can DOWNLOAD FOR FREE HERE). Then you get to work. Take a photo of the service project and TAG THE PHOTO #DDSummerofService so I can see it and repost it. Here's the bonus for everyone that does: At the end of the summer, every photo tagged will be ENTERED INTO A DRAWING for giveaways! I've got diaper bags, headphones, phone cases, Spikeball, and loads of other products to give to a few of you all who participate!
Let's make this summer the best one yet by getting out there and doing service with our kids. They will thank you for it. Maybe not while they're picking up dog poop in the park, but they will thank you!