Raising responsible and compassionate kids is such an important task in this generation. We’re in a world where words like kindness, compassion and giving back are slowly slipping away from existence. Teaching kids to give back to society is paramount to raising productive and caring adults. This is because Giving is a very joyful act that creates room for healthy all-round development of children.
Below, we’re going to highlight five different ways to teach your kids to give back during their holidays.
1. Ask them if they have any ideas about ways they would love to give back.
The first step to teaching children to give back is to let them consciously choose to give back. By asking them what ideas they have, you’ll be able to create an atmosphere where they give back out of compassion, empathy, and self-will. Ask them what ideas they have. You might be surprised at the things they have in mind. Sometimes, parents and guardians have very limited knowledge of fun ways to give back to society. So, asking of the kids’ opinions opens a window of fresh ideas that will encourage giving back.
2. Encourage them to share old stuff.
Another effective way of teaching children to give back during the holidays is by sharing old stuff. Under the supervision of an adult, a child can pick out old stockings, clothes, accessories, school supplies, and toys. The idea is to pick out everything and anything that is in good shape for someone else to use. After picking them out, let the child share his/her old stuff to people in need of it. When doing this, it is very important to ensure that the child is the one making the decisions. Giving should be consensual, from the heart and without grudges. However, when the child is not allowed to make choices as to what he/she intends giving, they may end up disliking the concept of giving back because he/she automatically considers it to be forceful possession of their stuff.
3. Encourage your kids to volunteer for community service.
Another nice way to teach kids to give back during the holidays is by volunteering for community service. Since they have a lot of spare time at their disposal, encouraging them to engage in community service will work well. It’s satisfying for both a child and his/her guardian to know that they’ve been able to impact society positively in one way or the other. Community service should also be encouraged because it allows children to socialize with different kinds of people in different social classes. Community service encourages the child to appreciate and see the value in everyone that he/she comes across in life. Children can volunteer for services such as recycling programs, visiting seniors and lots of other fun things.
4. Encourage them to give a percentage of their allowance to charity.
Up until this point, we’ve only highlighted ways to give back in kind and not in cash. Teaching children to set aside at least 10% of their allowance for charity is also another great way to teach them to give. Going about this is very easy. When you give a child any monetary allowance, help them calculate and subtract an agreed percentage for charity and let them keep the money in a piggy bank or safe that has been set aside for charity. When doing this, it is also important to make sure that every money set aside is accounted for. Preferably, discuss a charity related goal that money can achieve. That way, they’ll feel more open to setting the money aside knowing very well that it is for a cause.
5. Make a food basket.
Encourage children to drop a little part of their meals and snacks in the food basket. When it is full, you can help them give it to people who need food to eat. Or give it to charity organizations that accept meals. The food basket is really important because it creates an awareness of hunger problems in the world and also helps to curb food waste.
Don’t forget to make the kids feel appreciated by rewarding them for any form of kindness that they show. A reward doesn’t always have to come in the form of material things. Sometimes, one sweet word that subtly praises the child for being compassionate and giving back might be all that’s required to make children feel like they’ve affected the world positively.
Post written by Eseandre Otomiewor.
Light editing done by Curt Jackson.