Teaching children how to give is one of the most powerful lessons they’ll ever learn. It’s easy for parents to get caught up in the excitement of the Christmas season and forget that kids need to give as well as receive, but this is the ideal time to nurture the spirit of giving in children.
You can inspire your child to give by:
Helping choose gifts for family and friends gives kids a chance to experience the pleasure that comes from making other people happy. When they put real thought and effort into picking a present, they understand the rewards of giving.
This is also a great opportunity to teach children that gifts don’t have to be expensive to be worthwhile. A simple handmade card, a cake or even a story can be more meaningful than an expensive item. By giving gifts from the heart they will learn that the intention behind the gift is more important than the gift itself.
You’re the best role model when it comes to teaching your kids about giving, so take every opportunity to show them what it looks like. Young children struggle to understand abstract concepts, but they will recognise what giving means when they see you help out neighbours perform kind acts for family and friends or volunteer at their school. When you joyfully give to others, your kids will do the same.
Spending time together helping others is one of the best ways to teach kids about giving. Options include visiting an elderly person in a retirement home, participating in community clean-up days or looking after a rescue animal. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, as long as kids get to experience what it means to give.
Teaching kids that giving is an ongoing process, not a one-off event. Ask kids to keep their eyes open for charities and volunteer opportunities and encourage them to give to others in their daily lives. This may involve befriending a child at school who seems lonely or mowing the lawn for a sick neighbour. When kids practice giving regularly it becomes a natural impulse.
When you teach your children about the gift of giving the lesson stays with them for life.