As parents, we all want our children to be responsible, successful, compassionate and understand the importance of caring for those who are in need. How do we create an environment where ‘giving’, is not a chore-like activity? Here is how I intend on doing this.
Giving year round
At 6 years, my daughter does not get a weekly allowance, but she does have a very healthy piggy bank from monetary gifts she would have received year-round. This money is, at the end of the year, deposited into her savings account. We have decided that a quarter of her savings and contributions from family and friends will be used to bless another child in the area that is in need.
I am hopeful that by sharing of her own monies with another child, she understands that she can make a difference in the life of another, understanding that sharing is ultimately caring.
Give more myself
Kids learn best by example and this “practice what I preach” approach will give me the opportunity to model the behaviour I wish to see in my daughter. By telling her what I hope for her to do and not showing how it is done, leaves gaps in the learning process. So, by sharing my own intentions to give of my time or otherwise to a cause, is a perfect way to ensure that lessons are learnt and emulated.
Doing it together
Another fun way to encourage giving freely is by being part of a charitable organisation that has both adults and children as members. Understanding the mission and the importance of the organisation and explaining that clearly to your child, will determine their further understanding of why giving is essential. Being a part of an organisation with a parent or guardian can be not only good for the cause being supported, but also excellent in creating a closer more loving relationship between parent and child.
Additionally, for each special occasion (Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas) that we have throughout the year, we choose a child to bless in the community with the appropriate gesture of love and affection.
Creating a loving and caring community begins firstly, with individual families. You and the members of your household have to consciously engage in positive contributions, and children should not be left out of the process.