What the ALS Challenge Can Teach Your Kids

ALS Challenge

The ALS Challenge, also known as the “Ice Bucket Challenge”, is a movement that has been raising awareness of the disease known as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). The challenge goes like this; if you’re nominated for the challenge, you can do one of three things. Dump a bucket of ice water over your head, donate to the ALS Association or if you prefer, you can do both. What does such a trend teach our kids though? Is there anything that can be truly learned from the ALS Challenge itself? Actually, yes it can!

The ALS Challenge is a great example of viral marketing at its finest. Everywhere you look, you’ll see videos of people dumping ice water over their heads and nominating their friends and family to join them. Despite being a serious disease, many youths can enjoy the ice bucket challenge because it’s super fun while raising awareness to something they most likely don’t know much about. But that’s ok. As a parent, you can educate your child about this debilitating disease. Their involvement in the ALS Challenge can spark new challenge ideas for other charitable organizations that they can spread throughout their own inner circle of friends and family. Due to the viral nature of social media, before they know it, their challenge and cause can spread like wildfire.  It’s something they can look back on in their adulthood to be proud of and remember how much fun they had while raising awareness for a good cause.

You might be asking why this challenge is so popular and what does this have to do with marketing? The bottom line is, it’s simple! It takes only a few seconds of video footage that anyone can capture and upload to social media channels using today’s easy to use smartphones. This is one of the reasons why the challenge caught on so quickly. It’s a good lesson on how the simplest things can have the biggest impact.

While the challenge itself is a fun and rewarding experience there is also a negative side to it. From time to time, you might hear people calling the ALS Challenge “stupid” or “dumb.” Someone may feel this way for one reason or another and have chosen to express their negative feelings. For children it’s no doubt an eye opener on how something which is considered good is being viewed as “bad”.

This opens the door to showing your child that everyone has an opinion. Whether it be positive or negative, they must respect what others are feeling. Learning to respect someone’s opinion is something we all deal with so what better way than to talk with your child about the negative comments they might hear about the ALS Challenge.

Regardless, if you agree the challenge is a good thing, or it’s bad, it all boils down to how a child feels about it. As a parent, it’s a great opportunity to bond with your child and teach them a few of life’s lessons.

To donate to the cause, head over to the ALS website.

Photo Credit:  Thinkstock

What do you think of the ALS challenge?