Everyone says that it’s better to give than to receive, but it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of giving during the holiday season… especially for kids! So much of the Christmas season is focused on toys and presents, kids tend to catch a case of the “gimmies.”
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Are you having a hard time teaching your kids about how important it is to give? If so, here are a few ways you can encourage them to be more giving, during the holidays and beyond.
Start with a Small Act
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.
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.
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 giving yourself. Let them see you help others, whether in deed or by donating money or necessities. It can be more difficult to get your kids to want to give if they’ve never seen you do so. Make sure you're setting a good example.
Find 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. Let's use peer pressure for good! 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. Even just getting together a couple of your child's friends to help out a neighbor can make a difference. Seek out charities and organizations online that kids can relate to.
Make Them Feel Empowered
One of the greatest motivators 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. Help them see that what they do matters. If they feel empowered, they’ll 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 the importance of giving today and they will almost certainly make you proud of their compassion in the future.
How do you teach your kids about giving? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!