Pro-Social Activities: A Path to a Positive Future
23rd November 2023
Supporting children to participate in activities that benefit others is proving to have positive impacts on their health, wellbeing and long-term mental health and resilience. Research both in Australia and internationally is consistently highlighting the benefits of participation by children and young people in pro-social activities (eg. volunteering, helping others, supporting those in need, community service and simply being part of team activities). Research, particularly over the past decade, has indicated the benefits for young people including development of empathy, improved mental health, self-confidence, optimism, resilience, and increased interpersonal and problem solving skills.
Such benefits are best achieved and sustained when parents and carers actively engage with children in undertaking these activities, nurture opportunities for children to feel capable when participating in such activities, and role model them.
“Currently there appears to be a growing number of children and young people struggling with anxiety, and concern about their ability to cope, and parents who are understandably genuinely concerned about their child’s wellbeing” stated Centacare NQ Executive Director Paula Washington. “Our Staff have noted this in their work with families in the region”. Centacare NQ offers a range of supports and life skills education programs for adults and young people. “Our services are diverse and supporting parents and caregivers is part of our work in supporting children” Stated Ms Washington.
“Parents and Carers are the first educators children have, they look to their behaviour and responses to guide their own”. We want to support parents and carers so that they feel confident, as they are best placed to nurture their children and provide them with the skills and opportunities needed to reach their full potential. “I very much encourage participation in activities that contribute to a ‘greater good’ for individuals, children and families as the benefits extend far beyond the intention of the activity, they are learning opportunities for young people that may have lifelong benefits. Something as simple and low cost as participation in a volunteering activity in community or helping someone in need can support a sense of achievement and improved self-image, especially if the young person has a significant adult in their life supporting their participation."
Centacare NQ has a range of education, counselling and support programs available to all in the local region. Centacare NQ can be contacted by calling 1300 672 273 or visiting centacarenq.org.au