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Raising Giving Children: How to Teach Kids the Benefits of Giving
Giving can be defined in many ways. For me, giving can be defined in words, actions, and through memories. When I think about what giving means to me, I think about my mom. When I was younger, it used to drive me crazy when my mom would volunteer to sew costumes for a local theater. Often times, I would come home from school or other activities to find her downstairs, hovering over her sewing machine, stitching this and mending that. Sewing was something she learned how to do from my Grandma, and something my Grandma learned how to do from her mom.
My mom's fascination and love for costume making never truly made sense to me until I heard the pride in her voice and witnessed the pure joy she felt on opening night, gazing at all of her beautiful costume on stage. It was then that I realized that the countless hours she gave sewing costumes didn’t just benefit others, it offered her a sense of great purpose and feelings of personal satisfaction. Realizing the mutual benefit of giving couldn't have been taught to me by my mom, it had to be shown.
How to Teach Your Kids the Benefits of Giving
Here are five ways to help show your family the benefits of giving:
1. Find a cause that you love or care for and volunteer to help it. Whether it be visiting with elderly people at a nursing home in your community or volunteering at a booth signing people up to be bone marrow donors, the more you connect with your community and the causes you care about, the more your kids will want to, too!
2. Share how giving to others has changed you or how it makes you feel to your family by showing pictures, telling stories, and emphasizing the mutual impact your giving experiences have had on you and on the others you're helping.
3. Include your family in the volunteer activities you participate in. Maybe you need help putting together information kits or setting up booths or spaces; including your family in the process will make them feel a part of the action. For me, my mom always has me take pictures of her costumes before opening night.
4. Create memories with your family that will show them the mutual benefits of giving.
5. Instill the idea in your family that giving is a daily part of life. Ways to do this include picking a new family member to highlight and do nice things for every week/month, writing handwritten notes to family or friends who live far away, or doing fun family service together.
What ways are you raising giving children?
Featured image courtesy of Flickr.