Argosy University Blog

Setting Examples & Teaching Kids to Give Back

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One of the most rewarding reasons to get involved in your community is to set a good example and become a role model for your kids. Whether you donate money or time, giving back is beneficial, and not just for the recipients. The reward for your selfless acts can be a beautiful thing for both your community and your children’s future. But what are some of the ways you can teach kids to give back and what age should you begin encouraging them?

Giving back is just as much about volunteering as it is about philanthropy. Dr. Lois Winchell, child and family therapist and Argosy University, Sarasota instructor believes it should be a combination of both. “If we want our children to give back, our families need to be involved in multiple activities,” says Winchell. “These include volunteering resources and time and giving money when possible. Learning how to donate time can be a very powerful lesson for children because it is a giving of ourselves. This intimate experience can be significant and can often reap a more personal reward than the offering of money and things.”

As with everything else in life, kids learn best by example. The closer you can bring your child to the recipient of the gift, the more personal the experience becomes.

“Nurturing a sense of giving and making sure this is a value for your children starts as early as age 3 or 4,” says Winchell. “At this developmental age, we can teach them that others have feelings and that your child has an impact on those feelings. This sense of empathy is the underpinning of charity. The most significant impact on our children is what they actually see us doing as it relates to a giving spirit. As we engage in specific projects, we can have conversations with our children regarding why the project is important and who will benefit.”

Start by expanding their sense of environment, from the immediate family to their local community and eventually the world around them. A sense of awareness of something greater than themselves is important in raising a compassionate individual. This sense of responsibility to others and the environment can be supported by teaching empathy and making children aware of others’ needs whether in visiting a shelter or a food banks with family members or simply helping younger siblings.

“From infancy to about 5 years old, children aren’t necessarily capable of thinking outside of themselves. Even so, parents need to foster their child’s sharing with others,” says Winchell. As children grow older they can begin volunteering and supporting community projects more directly. Whether they donate toys to a children’s shelter or simply participate in a charity walk, these years are important for a child to learn the art of giving back. When they become teenagers, they can do even more for the community by assisting an elderly neighbor with his yard work or helping out at a local food bank or soup kitchen.

Additionally, it is important to convey the message that “giving back” does not include an expectation of getting something in return. Instead, highlight the sense of joy in being able to make someone happy and how those feelings are the greater gift.

“When a child experiences sharing and the serving of others, an internal sense of contentment and self-worth is experienced,” says Winchell. “This self-enhancement and sense of belonging is coincident with their giving and results in a benefit that cannot be gained any other way. This sense of happiness and accomplishment then contributes to their positive sense of self.”

In other words, setting an example by teaching kids to give back is one of the best things a parent can do for the community and the child.


Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: Argosy University, 333 City Boulevard West, Suite 1810, Orange, CA 92868 © 2016 Argosy University. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@argosy.edu.
See auprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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Student Feature | Argosy Testimonial | Duyen Nguyen

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“During my sophomore year of high school I knew I wanted a career in psychology I just did not realize how broad that the psychology field really was. While in community college, I contemplated a criminal psychology degree, and even took a few Criminal Justice courses. I became interested in helping, not only victims, but also criminals and offenders because everyone has a story to tell and in need of help.

While attending University of California, Riverside (UCR), there was a guest speaker that spoke about domestic violence; something sparked inside of me and I was inspired to work with the domestic violence and rape/sexual assault population. It is a tough population that very few people want to be involved in, but someone has to and some have to. After UCR, I was adamant about taking a year off from school to relax and decide on the next chapter of my life. Even though I told myself to take a break, my mind was intrigued about all the different master degree programs that are offered. I luckily came upon Argosy University and reached out with questions; a week after meeting with my admissions representative and seeing the Los Angeles campus, I found myself applying to the Master of Arts (MA) in Forensic Psychology degree program (MAFP). I became extremely fascinated and impressed with each class that I took because they were completely different from my undergraduate studies. The classes were very hands on, it was many applied concepts, and were relevant to the field I wanted to work in. I was most impressed with how all of the professors that I had, worked in the field; they seem to have applied what they were teaching to how they dealt with that same situation in their practice – a great and another way to learn “outside of the book.” I finished and graduated from the MAFP program in 2014, with a 3.75 GPA and was selected and honored to be a student speaker at the 2014 commencement.

That was not the end of my journey with Argosy University; with the support of my family and friends I started the Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling Psychology program (MACP), right after my MAFP program, in hopes of becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist.

Six months after starting the MACP program my world changed; my dad was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. I had every reason to quit school to take care of my dad, but I knew that was the last thing he would have wanted for me. For the next year and a half I juggled two jobs, my MACP program, taking care of my dad, and trying to find time for my relationship. With the support of everyone at Argosy University, I was able to get through my program knowing that they were always so accommodating and understanding of my situation. I finally made it to my last year of the program where I would be starting my practicum and work experience; unfortunately, my dad passed away June 2016 just two months before I started my traineeship. I was surprised by all the love and support I received from not only the students, but also from the professors and administration at Argosy University during my grieving process.

I am currently maintaining a 4.0 GPA with less than one year left and gaining experiences at my practicum site where I am working with high school teenagers. My career goal is to eventually become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and not only build my own private practice, but to also open a youth center for teens and adolescents where I can continue to raise awareness in our youth regarding dating violence in hopes of preventing them from being victims of domestic violence. I not only want my story to inspire young girls, but also young boys. My story is not about how a Vietnamese girl overcame her obstacle; it is about how an individual with heart, dedication, and passion drove her to overcome such struggles and loss at a young age.”

                                              Written by Argosy University alumna, Duyen Nguyen


Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Argosy University, 5230 Pacific Concourse Drive, Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90045 © 2016 Argosy University. All rights reserved.

Our email address is materialsreview@argosy.edu.
See auprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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Master of Arts (MA) in Marriage & Family Therapy: Providing Skills to Promote Client Emotional Wellness

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A Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT) degree from Argosy University can prepare you to assist families, couples, and individuals while promoting their emotional well-being.

According to U.S. News and World Report online, more marriage and family therapists will be needed in the future as insurance companies continue to refer clients to therapists—instead of psychiatrists or psychologists. The article adds that in the next eight years, the need for marriage and family counselors is expected to grow by 15%. This anticipated growth helps the occupation to achieve a #3 ranking in the magazine’s list of “Best Social Services Jobs.”

At Argosy University, we understand your goal to help others as a therapist. Whether you’re moving directly into the program from undergraduate studies or hoping to move into a higher-level position by earning a Master’s degree, a Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy degree can help you to achieve your career goals.

Our MFT program attracts a diverse group of students. Nearly 30% of people in the program are over the age of 40 and 86% are enrolled as full-time students.

In addition to coursework, students have the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clients in a variety of treatment settings including as mental health clinics, counseling centers, and private practices. This hands-on experience can help you to build upon your skills in psychological theory, systems theory, research, and ethical therapy—career skills that are essential in the real-world practice of helping clients to build healthy, functional relationships.

Argosy University’s flexible learning formats also make it easier for working professionals to earn an advanced degree. For those seeking a Doctor level degree, Argosy University also offers a Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy in Marriage & Family Therapy at our Denver , Salt Lake City , and Twin Cities campuses.

Learn more about our other psychology and counseling programs by visiting the College of Counseling, Psychology and Social Services page.


Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: Argosy University, 333 City Boulevard West, Suite 1810, Orange, CA 92868 © 2016 Argosy University. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@argosy.edu.
See auprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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