The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a hot trend among everyone from the average American teenager to some of the most famous and richest of Americans including Oprah Winfrey and President George W. Bush. But with so many people jumping on the ice bucket band wagon, are our children actually learning anything from this? Yes, but only if we are taking the opportunity to teach them. Very rarely, does a chance like this come along for us to teach our children in an awesome way.

1. Bonding

Believe it or not, the Ice Bucket Challenge is a perfect opening for you to bond with your children. Not only are they able to see you dump water over your head and act like a fool, but they see that you have the ability to laugh at yourself. Plus, that get to laugh at you too; and what child wouldn't love that? Bonus: They will likely be telling all of their friends about how cool their mom and dad are and how much fun they had with you.

2. Awareness

Countless adults don' know what ALS is, so there's a pretty good chance that your child has never heard of the disease or how heartbreaking it is. The Ice Bucket Challenge is a great way to start teaching your children about different illnesses that hurt families every day so they can have a better understanding of other human beings and that each of us fights our own, sometimes hidden, battles.

3. Compassion

Teaching our children about compassion and charity from a young age is vital if we expect them to grow into kind and charitable adults. The Ice Bucket Challenge is your chance to do this. It's your opportunity to show your children how being charitable affects other people and makes their lives better. You can even show them how the money you donate will be used to fund research, and how spreading awareness with your video will allow other people to learn about ALS.

4. Gratitude

There's nothing like a dose of someone else's painful reality to remind us how blessed and lucky we are. If your children have a tendency to think they have it rough, or act spoiled from time to time, then this is your chance to teach them to be grateful for all that they do have.

If you are considering the Ice Bucket Challenge, get your children in on it with you. And if you'd rather donate to another charity, do that. But make sure you talk to your children about it, explaining the charity of your choice and what your donation will do — whether it's building homes for families, or funding research for cures for diseases. Your children won't learn generosity and compassion unless you show them. And remember to always take proper safety precautions.

Did you or your children take the Ice Bucket Challenge? Share your photos with us on Twitter! @parentingsquad