It’s the season of giving and this time of year can be a very good time to teach your children about how important it is to be a generous and giving person. This can present a challenge as children are somewhat selfish by their very nature. Even the sweetest of kids struggle with the concept of seeing outside their own needs sometimes, and that’s OK because it is simply how most people progress through life. If you are hoping to use this time of year as an opportunity to show your children how great it is to be gracious, here are 7 ways to teach your child to be more giving.
7 Ways to Teach Your Child to be More Giving
Help them find a charity that speaks to them. There are many charities out there that may be of interest for your child. Maybe your child really likes animals. If that is the case, help them figure out a way to donate to an animal shelter or another charity that has to do with animal welfare. By finding a charity that they can be passionate about, you are helping them to see that they can help even if it’s in a small way and that every donation matters.
Encourage them to give of their own stuff. When your child outgrows their toys that are still in good shape, help them pack them up and clean them so they can be donated. Make sure they know that their toys are going to another child to make them happy.
Help them come up with a fun way to actively raise money for a cause. Kids love to feel like they are making a big difference, but often feel like there isn’t much they can do as a kid. Help them come up with a fun way to get actively involved in raising money.
Offer to match their donation. If your child has a goal in mind of an amount they want to raise for a specific cause, motivate them by matching the amount they donate.
Be charitable, yourself. Kids are imitators. If they see adults in their lives acting generous, they will want to as well. Let them know why you donate and how to do it.
Give them money you would donate and allow them to donate it. We all see those small jars on gas station counter tops or in grocery stores asking for your spare change. Give them your spare change and let them drop it in the bucket to give them a sense of helping and doing the donating themselves. This is great for little kids that can’t quite do much on their own yet.
Do a family volunteer effort. Being generous and giving doesn’t have to come in the form on gifts or money. Get your children involved in a charitable project such as helping out in the local soup kitchen, cleaning and stocking shelves in a local food pantry or even just raking a home-bound neighbor’s leaves for them.
How do you teach your children to be more giving? I would love to hear about it in the comments!