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8 Ways to Teach Children to Give


teaching children about giving

Earlier this month, eight-year-old Anton was making a list of things he wanted for the holidays. “Small basketball,” he wrote cautiously. And a diamond necklace that translates to ‘fairy tales.’ ”Of course, these things are wonderful, but as a parent, all year long especially during the holidays, I want to help my children to be appreciative, generous, and loving. and our community. So! I spoke with three good parents / experts, and here is what they said…

1. Giving starts small.
Children can start by being kind and generous to those around them. “There are so many types to choose from,” says my friend E., a father of two sons in Manhattan. “You can imagine a big change in the weather, or one kid sitting alone on the bus, which happens right away.” Tips: Take care of your neighbor’s dog if he is out of town; jump up to clear the dining table at a relative’s house; carrying your grandparents’ bag to the bedroom when they visit; invite the new child to school to play in the park.

2. Consider volunteering with local organizations.
If you do not know where to start, go to JustServe for a volunteer project. Whether you are religious or not, another way to earn a living is through the churches. For example, Hope for New York describes how you can help in a variety of ways, so you can choose what you contribute. There is also the newspaper Doing Good Together with practical suggestions as a family.

L. L., a parent of three children in Brooklyn, appreciates: “At CHIPS, you can leave out food that the children have prepared for the children. Ruth’s Refuge is a no-brainer for refugees who have stable, repetitive housing, and often GOOD Women. And the Arab-American Family Support Center has a variety of face-to-face interventions, including mentoring an English-speaking student – many women do not have the opportunity to learn English as their working-class husbands or school-age children. , which can leave them isolated and unable to fend for themselves, families, and so on. ” (Readers, please add some ideas in the comments!)

3. Be invisible.
Emphasize to your children that commitment is a way to be a part of their community, as opposed to the home activities that are designed for them. “I tell my children, ‘We need to be strong,’” says E. “When we dedicate ourselves, we just do our best. Sometimes they only drop boxes for two hours. ” And continue to participate, learn and grow. “The ministry is a skill that you learn and develop, such as any skill you have,” says L.

4. Find the reasons you find important.
Think about the things your loved ones love most and your loved ones. E. Their family, affiliated with the Heart of Dinner organization, which provides assistance and food to the East Asian elders in New York, states: “During the epidemic, my sons heard of the hatred and abuse of elderly Asians. They have the opportunity for volunteers of all ages to decorate bags and draw cards for their clients.

As a family, you can choose a few topics to consider each year. “This year, our family has been focusing on the issue of food insecurity and the provision of refrigerators in our area,” said Brooke Williams, a mother. “They are very close neighbors helping the neighbors.”

5. Focus on your children’s abilities.
My guys love nothing more than having a lemon stand – Toby is actually such a seller! – so he sold cooks to earn money on things like ACLU, RAICES, and cleaning the ocean. Some children may be artistic. “My young son tends to be making little cards for everyone he knows,” says E. “We wondered how our old neighbors would keep out of the house. Is there another way we can make them happy? We made cards for people who were receiving food from God’s Love We Deliver, and people who lived at Bailey-Holt House. Their writings touched my heart. ”

6. Look for helpers.
Remember how Fred Rogers’ mother told him to look for helpers? Showing children how people are working for the betterment of the world can help them become more motivated and empowered. “Children know that the world is a mess; they are not children, ”says E.“ I tell my boys, ‘Do you see, there is a refuge for the city, and for the people who are working on it and using their intellect and reasoning skills and abilities, to help lighten the burden of the man?’ Being able to show my kids that there are people who get up at 7pm every Saturday and fry eggs, or distribute hot food in the cold winter … is inspiring to see people around the city coming together, and we can join in. small ways. “

7. Encourage children to give money, even if it is small.
Even very young children can donate a portion of their income or birthday money to care for. When researching organizations, consider turning to the Charity Navigator website, which offers funding for charities. Also, my friend Scott Thomas runs Arbor Brothers, who see no benefit in doing ministry work in New York City. She publishes a child-friendly guide every year, which I found to be very helpful.

You can also include your children if you can contribute money as a family. Brooke says: “Every December, we sit down and budget our money for the agencies we care about. “We each receive the same amount of money, including our daughter. Everyone chooses organizations and discusses why we value them. ”

8. Be kind to everyone around you.
Above all, set an example for your children in how they can promote kindness throughout the day. “This morning, we arrived at the COVID test,” says Brooke. “This poor boy is sitting at the counter, and everyone is upset. Just being human to her – smiling, extra gratitude, wishing her a happy holiday – all of a sudden, her whole face changes. When we spread the good stuff in small quantities, the world gets better. ”

This way of thinking also applies to commitment. At a restaurant where the E. family serves as a volunteer, the pastor gives a group talk every morning. “He reminds us that in the long run, always to show love in small things, even if you are just leading someone in a line or releasing apples,” says E. “Remember that you do not know what people are going through. Therefore, show love in the way you hand out a plate or in a trash can to make it easier for someone else. People recognize that love. We are all in the same area. We all need help in different ways. Everyone who passes by is our neighbor. I hope my kids remember that. Serve people respectfully. ”

How do you teach your children about giving and helping? Feel free to start small, says Brooke: “Because when everyone else does a little, they make a lot of money.”

PS How to raise kind children, and 12 readers respond to kindness.

(High quality prints are available here.)





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