Though a lot of children under the age of five tend to be very egocentric, many of them grow up to become very loving, compassionate, charitable and caring adults. This however isn’t something that happens automatically. Instead, these are traits that ought to be instilled while they are still young. To help you through, below are five ways that you can adopt when teaching kids about giving back:
1) HAVE THE CHILD GIVE THROUGH THE SCHOOL: Nowadays, a lot of schools are involved in different charitable works such as clothing and food drives. Other than learning the importance of giving, a child’s sense of community will also be enhanced. In case your child’s school doesn’t have any charity programs, get your child to start one.
2) CREATE A FAMILY DONATION BOX: Since kids learn from what they see, creating a family donation box where everyone donates something is bound to prompt them to do the same. In addition to this, let them know why their contribution is important. Also, make them aware of where whatever they are donating will be going and if possible, take them along when going to make the donation.
3) HAVE THE KIDS CHOOSE A CHARITY TO BE INVOLVED IN: Giving the kids the freedom to choose a charity to donate to or volunteer at will encourage them to research different charities. As a result, they’ll get an insight on why their contributions are needed. It’s similarly important that you ask them to choose a different charity every year so that they can get sufficient exposure and education on the same.
4) MAKE GIVING BACK A HOLIDAY TRADITION: With the holidays being known as a time for giving, most kids expect a lot of presents. But, you should take time to tell them that they too need to give back, more so during Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. Also, explain to them that the same feeling they get when they are presented with a gift is the same feeling other unfortunate kids/people get when presented with donations.
Conversely, after their birthday, ask them to go through their old presents like toys or even clothes and, give what they no longer need. However, don’t force them to give up the things that they are still attached to as this may make them hate charity.
5) SET A GOOD EXAMPLE: You can’t preach water and drink wine. Thus, it’s important that you lead by example. A good way of doing this would be by volunteering as a family. To ensure that they like what they do, have them give back something that they love doing. For instance, if they love to bake, you can ask that they bake something special for the kids living in shelters. Pet lovers can similarly volunteer in animal shelters.
Besides, you can let them watch as you give back, like when donating blood. Assuming that they are too young to do the same, it’s clear that they will want to know alternative ways of giving back.
6) SHOW THEM THE RESULTS: Merely asking a child to volunteer and not showing them the impact of their work doesn’t do any good. It’s hence advisable that you share with them the aftermath, like get to see the happy faces of those they have helped whether it’s in person, on TV or in the papers.