A primary motivation for creating this blog was to show our children the world. And, why? Because understanding others and seeing things from another’s perspective is key to having empathy. And, this world needs more empathy. This is why it is so important to teach your children to give back.
Having a generous child can bring joy to the heart of any parent. We want our kids to grow up as good people. To become citizens willing to help and care for others. So, how do you teach your children to give back? Kids are at that stage of growth in life where they learn everything from everyone and everywhere. This is what makes it easy to shape them well by instilling into them the virtues we want them to grow up with.
Generosity is one of these virtues. The kids will grow knowing that it is important to give to others in the society. There are many different ways to teach your child how to be a giver and we have explored some of the ways to help teach your children to give back.
Ways to Teach your Children to Give Back
Be an example to your children
Perhaps the most important way to teach your children to give back is to show them. When it comes to teaching your kids different virtues, you have to show them how by doing it yourself. Kids learn better through observation. You will need to walk the talk here. Do not expect them to give or be generous if you are not. For instance, always leave a tip for the waiter and let the kids know that you are appreciating them for their services. Engage in community volunteer projects, help a neighbor or someone in need and the kids will get the message clearly.
Make giving a family tradition
Giving should not be a one-time occasion. It should be something that runs in your family. When you make it a family tradition to be generous, it will rub off on your kids. Let every family member embrace this tradition as well. Give to those who have less than you do. Show your kids how to be a good person in the process. Consistency is important to teach your children to give back.
Family traditions last for a very long time. Although they are not occasional, they are able to instill a level and sense of generosity into your child. The child is able to understand that they do things in a certain way in their family. When they do, they rarely depart from this tradition as they grow up and they will also impact the same into their children.
Volunteer and give them opportunities to serve
You need to give your kids the chance to give to others. Volunteering is a great way of doing this. They do not necessarily need to donate money. They can give their time, energy and attention to others. If there is a cause in the society, let them enroll, join others and help out. You can let them visit a senior center and spend time talking to them or helping them with their needs. Donate to a shelter or participate in a community clean-up project without asking for anything in return. Volunteering even made it into our extensive list of things to do with kids in Colorado!
Praise them when they are generous
Kids love praises and attention. When they are generous in some way, do not hesitate to heap praises onto them. This will make them understand that they have done something good and they will start repeating the gesture in the future. When they are not kind, do not rebuke them in public. This will only lead to embarrassments and they will associate the process of giving with that. They might start hating it. Take them aside and show them why it is not good to be mean to others.
Let them donate to others
If your kids are like ours, they outgrow their toys very fast. One moment they are very excited about something and they cannot wait to have it, the next moment the excitement is gone, until something better comes along. Because of this reason, they will always have lots of stuff and toys that they do not use. There are other kids who would die to have these toys and that is where you come in.
Persuade your kids to donate the toys and stuff they do not need to others. They will be placing a smile on another kid’s face while helping you declutter at the same time. Pack their old clothes into a bag and donate to someone in need. Someone else will be very grateful for them. Engage your kids in the whole process so that they can understand the value of what you are doing.
Help them learn to be grateful
When you are grateful, you stop taking everything for granted. You realize that you are blessed more than others and this allows you to have the capacity to share what you have. Let your kids understand how blessed they are. Let them know there are other kids in other parts of the world who are suffering and who do not have access to the beautiful stuff and life your kids have. This will teach them how to be grateful and mindful of others, even if they are strangers to them. If your children learn to practice being grateful, it will be easier to teach your children to give back.
Make giving a joyous moment
Kids do not always like giving and unless you make it interesting and fun for them, they might grow up with a poor attitude towards giving to others. Do not let them be miserable while giving and when they really do not feel like doing so. Do not push it. Teach them to understand that gratification will come from making other people happy. Ask them how they feel when they receive gifts and how they feel when they give gifts. Let them know that giving is a great virtue that makes them better human beings and better citizens.
Put a limit on what they can give
Although giving is a virtue, you should let your kids understand that they do not have to give everything they have all the time. Being generous is a virtue, but also needs to be a part of your budget. Let the kids know that it’s okay to say no now and then and still be good people. Giving to others varies from one person to the next and we cannot all give equally.