Tips To Teach Your Children the Importance of Giving Back
During the Holidays, it’s better to give than to receive as the saying goes. That said, it can be easy to lose sight of “giving” during the holiday season, especially for kids. So much of the Christmas season is focused on toys and gifts, kids can be very selfish and self -focused. If you are like, you are probably having a difficult time teaching your kids about how important it is to give? Here are a few ideas on how you can encourage them to be more giving, during the holidays and beyond.
Start with a Small Act Like Helping a Neighbor
Many people have a hard time getting motivated to give because they feel like their contribution won’t matter in the long run. Prove to your kids that every little bit counts when it comes to donating either time or resources. Look for someone in your community that your kids can help with something like yard work or other chores around the house. Or look to your church to volunteer during the holidays. My daughter volunteers at our church to watch the little kids when school is out during the holidays. She also offers to help a elderly neighbor with her holiday gift buying.
Don’t forget to reward them for their good deeds and show them the ways that even a small act of kindness can be a big help to someone. That way, they’ll probably more willing (and excited) to help the next time. For my daughter’s good deeds, I will treat her to pizza from her favorite pizzeria.
Set a Good Example
Kids often want to follow in the footsteps of their parents. If you want your kids to pick up on how important it is to give, make sure that you practice a bit of giving yourself. Let them see you putting aside time to help others or donating to a charitable organization. Remember, it’s sometimes more difficult to get your kids to want to give when they’ve never seen you do so. All it takes is once, to set a good example. One of the ways I give back is to give toys to Toys for Tots and Ronald McDonald House, now that she is older, she accompanies me to the drop off. My daughter also goes through her old toys so we donate the slightly used ones to our local Salvation Army or Goodwill.
Join with Other Kids
It will be easier for your kids to connect with the idea of giving if they’re involved in a project with their peers. Look for opportunities like food banks or toy drives in your community. Check to see if they allow children to participate in their programs. If there aren’t any kid-friendly charitable organizations in your area, consider taking it upon yourself to organize a volunteer event. You also have the option of seeking out online charities or volunteer organizations that kids can relate to. Now that my daughter is high school, she and her classmates are starting a toy drive. They will take the donated toys to local homeless shelter.
Make Them Feel Empowered
The greatest motivator for giving is the feeling that you can make a difference. If you want your children to feel good about giving, make them feel good about themselves. Let them know that the things they have to say are important and encourage them to incorporate their talents into giving back to others. If they feel empowered, theyíll feel like they definitely can and will make a difference.
If you practice the act of giving on a regular basis, you make a habit out of generosity and charity. This is especially true of kids, who are growing up and developing into the people they will be later in life. Talk to your children about how important it is to give today and they will almost certainly make you proud of their compassion in the future.