Giving to Others – Why It’s a Must-Teach for Kids
What connects us as human beings? What keeps it all going? My best answer to these types of questions is always “Love.” Strong bonds within our communities and love for those around us are what makes the world go ‘round. So when we have children, teaching them how to bond with people and form connections with their communities is one of the most important things we can impart as parents. One of the best ways to do this is to teach them the gift of giving to others.
Why Teaching Children To Give to Others is Important
Given the fact that our community bonds and our contribution to these communities we belong to are a pillar in our lives as human beings, raising our children as contributing members of our communities is a great lesson to pass on.
We all need a driving force in our lives, and given the psychology of giving back, being contributing members of society is one of the most gratifying motivators we have. It makes us feel good when we give to others, just like the lesson we learn from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, when Scrooge discovers that the gift of life is to give to others and the happiness it spreads throughout the world and within oneself.
On another note, as parents we have a sense of duty to our children and to the world to raise a child that will go on to become a good member of the community. Therefore, teaching our children the gift of giving will greatly benefit them as people, and it will also help you towards your goal as a parent to raise a wonderful human being.
By teaching your children to give to others, you will not only raise a lovely human, but you will also give them the gift of one of the most gratifying motivators they can have in life. Your child will benefit greatly from it from a very young age, and (s)he will develop wonderful values from the very beginning. These values include:
Care for others
How to Teach Children to Give to Others
How can we teach children to give to others? How can we point out the importance of giving to the community and allow them to see just how much of an impact this makes? There are many ways we can do it, and a very effective way is through example.
When we raise our children, we are their #1 source of information on everything about life, ranging from how to do things, how to react to situations, and how interaction between people works. Since they are constantly observing, taking mental notes, and mimicking our every mannerism and move, we must serve as the best example we can be, and try to teach them these most valuable lessons through doing them and representing them ourselves.
A fun way to be the best example in this case is by actively making sure you can give to those in need, and that your children are with you. If you see someone in need of clothing or food on the street, talk to your kids about it, gather anything you want or can gather, and take it over to them with your children. Your kids will most likely get excited about the endeavor and they will want to give them anything they can — you’ll see love and compassion pouring out of them and it will be magical for you, your kid, and the person in need.
Another fun way to teach your kids this is by involving them in activities around your community such as donation rallies for people affected by natural disasters, making little care packages for service workers such as mailmen and waste management crews, and even taking them with you when you volunteer at the old folks’ home. There are thousands of opportunities on a daily basis which you can take advantage of, and everyone will benefit from an extra little smile and an extra little pair of hands.
What to Look Out For
While child education is very important, and teaching kids values such as compassion and giving to others is incredibly beneficial, there is nothing like teaching them the wrong way (however unintentionally) that will make them want to resist the idea and/or involvement in these activities. Therefore, making sure you look out for a few things along the way is absolutely essential to making sure your kids fully absorb these lessons. Here is a little list of things to be aware of as you’re teaching kids to give to others:
Not to pressure them into giving things they don’t want to let go of. This one is very important, because we all have possessions that, however small or unassuming they may be, are special to us. So before you go around the house looking for things to give to others, ask their permission and talk to them about what they are willing to give up for someone else instead of grabbing and going, thus creating stress and sadness for your kid.
Not to push them too hard. This is a pretty easy one to be aware of when going about this, but it’s important to mention on this list because we need to be in tune with our kids and what they want. Maybe let them pick the day and the activity, adn don’t make them go when they don’t want to, as it will start to create negative energy around activities of giving and helping — which is the last thing we want to get out of this!
Not to make them feel bad for not wanting them to do something. If we get angry at our children or put them down for not wanting to take part in a volunteer project, we will begin to make them feel guilty about not wanting to constantly give to others. This can affect them long into their lives, and could potentially have consequences that are far from what we are trying to achieve by involving them. Giving to others should be something they want and like to do, and not something they do out of guilt or pressure.
With all this said, allowing your child to become a part of their communities is a wonderful thing, and I’m very excited to hear all your stories and experiences you would like to share with me. So contact me and tell me if you have an extra tip, or simply would like to share an experience with me. Have fun and give on!