Teaching Your Child Charity
Guest article | 30 April 2013
Teaching your kids about charity can be a rewarding endeavor
for both you and your children…
Teaching your kids about charity can be a rewarding endeavor for both you (the parents) and your children. Teaching your children about the concept of giving and helping others gives them the notion and feeling that they can do something worthwhile and helpful, even if they are young. Since young children tend to follow by the example of their elders, it is best that you encourage everyone in the house to participate in charitable/volunteer activities, and commend your children when they show kindness and empathy to others they don’t know. Keep in mind that being charitable is driven by the feeling of empathy towards others. When a child, even a very young one, understands that there are people in this world who are less fortunate than others and need help, then they will feel empathy for them and would like to do something to help them, without asking for anything in return.
You can help your children obtain that charitable spirit by means of implementing these simple strategies together with the whole family:
1. Help neighbors and other people that require help
Rake the leaves, mow the lawn, and take out the trash for an elderly couple. Bake some bread and let your children help you deliver it to the homeless feeding area in your community. Once in a while, have your children go through their closets and take out the clothes they have not worn for over a month or so, and tell them that these clothes they pick out will be given to the Good Will or Salvation Army to help the homeless and needy. You can also ask them if they are willing to give some of their toys to charity. You may be surprised that they would happily give some of their toys to others!
2. Make your child’s birthday an opportunity for him/her to be charitable too.
At your child’s birthday party, you can ask guests to bring a book (new or used) as a gift to be donated to the local charity organization. Talk to your son/daughter about the many things he/she has and about the children who don’t even have a single book of their own. Tell your child that one awesomely kind way to celebrate a birthday would be to give to other people who have less or don’t have anything at all. Allow your child participate in the gift-giving gesture by letting them decide where to donate the items – an orphanage, a nuns’ shelter for children, or some other charitable organisation. The items are not only limited to books; toys, clothes, school supplies, and other things that can make children happy will suffice as well
3. Be a blessing for other families that are having a hard time sustaining themselves each and every day.
There are families all over our community wherein the parents are unable to feed their whole family a sufficient meal. You can start by helping one needy family at a time. Build food baskets and let your children choose the canned goods, fruits, and other edible foods. Deliver the food basket to the family in need and spend some time with them as well. Your children will realize that they are making a big difference to the family they are helping, and this also builds their self-esteem on socializing with other people in their community
4. A simple jar can make a big difference.
Make a charity jar that can be filled slowly but surely whenever allowances are given. Ask your kids to share a bit of their allowance to help others by donating and putting it in the jar. When the jar is filled up, as a family, choose where you would like to donate the contents. You can read about a variety of charities on the Internet, let your children know about them, and ask them where they would like their charity jar to be donated to. As a family, you may choose to help save homeless cats and dogs, build a school for orphaned children, or contribute to a cancer charity
5. Teach your child to help animals too
Ask your child if they would like to buy some dog and/or cat food and then deliver it to the local animal shelter. Let your children spend some time playing or petting the animals that will receive the pet food you’ve donated. This gesture teaches children to be charitable to less-fortunate animals as well
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