Sure, it’s great to help your kids sell popcorn to raise funds for their team. It’s a family activity that forces you to put on real pants to walk around and meet your neighbors on a Saturday morning.
But what do you do if your kid is a wallflower? Or, how do you get those surly teenagers off the couch to do it themselves?
Here are a few tricks to get them up and involved.
Start them young
Many kids start out shy, especially with strangers. Add in the concept of trying to raise money and your little one might disappear completely. It might seem easier to “just do it myself” or write a check, but if you bring them along early in life, they’ll become accustomed to the concept. Friendly conversations with family, friends, and neighbors about their favorite activities and popcorn are sure to get them engaged. Once they get used to the idea, they’ll know there’s no reason to be shy.
Model good habits
Speaking of pants… It might suck, but kids model their behavior after ours. If we act like raising money for the gymnastics team is a total pain, so will they. If we act like it isn’t our problem because little Billy always sells the most anyway, they will, too. But if we jump in with both feet and show them that it’s an important activity for the family, they’ll follow suit. Monkey see, monkey do.
Help older kids understand the “why”
Older kids might procrastinate, complain, or refuse, and it’s not like you can drag them around by their iPhones. So, help them to understand, even if they pretend that they aren’t listening, that raising money is a vital part of helping their teammates. The funds might help keep participation costs down or replace costly equipment that not everybody could afford. They’ll come to realize that acting like a leader behind the scenes can be just as important as throwing the winning touchdown. Even if they never took out their headphones.