This past week, we have become owners of a new guinea pig and two rabbits.

Picture by Xandert

As a 4H family, life is always exciting as the kids choose to do different projects or follow in the footsteps of their older sibling who did rabbits for a few years.

What I like about 4H is the chance to do a number of different projects in different areas.  We tend to choose animals and visual arts. We have friends whose son does aerospace and rocketry. Our oldest did woodworking one year.

You can do rock collections and insects, gardening and cooking. But you can also do photography and writing. This year our daughter is doing the “read-a-Book” project because she reads, a lot, and can do a poster on the book.

4H is one of those programs that I find valuable for kids because they can learn many different things, try many different things and maybe find that thing that sparks them. Plus, it is hard to get in trouble when you have to take care of an animal every day, several times a day.

However, 4H is not the only worthwhile program for kids. Scouts, Awanas, youth groups and sports are just a few of the activities out there for kids. The problem maybe affording some of these programs or getting the kids to the programs.

That is why I will buy fundraiser products from any kid who actually shows up at my house. The truth is we need to supports these things for kids. I have seen kids have nothing to do and do other things only to hear people complain about them.

I have seen older people complain about rollar rinks and skateboard parks, desiring to take them away from the kids because they make too much noise and leave around too much trash.

Picture by Anita Patterson

What if instead of complaining, we did stuff with kids. You don’t have to become the leader at the weekly youth group time. But maybe you could hook up with a group that meets monthly and show off one of your skill and teach them to the kids.

Are you a crafter or a fishing person? Maybe you paint pictures or deal with electrical appliances. Maybe you are a computer wiz or a master gardener. My point is you probably have something to share and chances are there is a kid who wants to learn. Instead of complaining about those darn kids, find one you can help.

Let me share that I am a youth group leader. And when we had a neighbor boy who was a bit of a handful, I encouraged my husband to reach out to him. The boy kept ‘borrowing’ my youngest’s bicycle.

The first time I yelled at him, the second time I told my husband to help him fix his bike. The second solution was the better and improved relations on both sides. While the boy has now moved away, I can only hope that some other caring adult will step in the same way with him.

Now ask this of yourself – What can I do to be a positive force in the life of a child?