Teaching Your Children to Give Back

A child's hands holding a black and white heart

The holiday season is a great time to teach kids about the gift of giving.
Image: Shutterstock

With the holidays just around the corner, many of us have gift-giving and family time on the mind. That also is followed usually with overeating and over-shopping. However, there is a positive side to the season that doesn’t involve overindulging:  It’s an opportunity to give back to the community and start teaching the children in your life the importance of charitable giving.

As a parent, you have an obligation to teach your kids about more than just wanting. It’s a habit you can instill year round, but you can start with the holidays as a base point. By doing so, you are helping the future world along with your children. Giving can be shown to help raise self-esteem, develop social skills, foster an introduction to the greater world, and encourage kids to appreciate and recognize their own lifestyle.

Start simply. If you strip your kids of all the money they’ve ever earned or force them to volunteer for an entire day, they will burn out quickly. The more realistic the act, the easier it is for them to do. Maybe start by having them send a card to a friend or go through the closet for cleanup and to donate to charity. Help them see these acts in a new light of helping out.

Let them choose their own causes, too; don’t push them to donate to the American Heart Association just because you do. If they find it more interesting and are connected to the cause, they will be more interested and understand it better.

Incorporate giving into activities they enjoy, like birthdays or playtime. There are many ways to do this. It can be as simple as each birthday they choose one gift to donate to a local children’s hospital. Or even have each kid at arts and crafts create “giving certificates” where they promise to help out in volunteering some way.

Have you started teaching your children about how to give back? How did you begin instilling charitable values?

 

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