10 Ideas to teach children the Joy of Giving

In the competitive and self-centered society that we live in today, raising conscious, caring, and selfless individuals becomes a necessity. Every parent should responsibly commit to it. But how do you teach children to find as much joy in giving as in receiving? Well, a big part of this is achieved by teaching them the right values. Here, we present you a series of activities you can engage in with your kids -as well as some tips- to help bolster traits such as Solidarity and Generosity.

Teaching by Example

There is not a better way for children to learn and develop positive traits than by watching us put into practice what we demand from them. Let kids know you care about the other members of your community, be proactive! But more importantly, express solidarity towards your peers. Remember, children are like sponges, absorbing, then replicating behavioral traits -good or bad-. Give them some good models to start copying from.

Time is a present

From an early age, kids must be taught that sharing and giving are two intrinsically related aspects of conscious time management. As attention-demanding as they are, children also need to understand that their parents have many other things to focus on and cannot be available for them 24/7. Once learned this, they can choose to give some of their own time into helping others, no matter if it is their mom, a schoolmate, or a neighbor. Or at least, they’ll learn the value of respecting others’ time when necessary.

Money Issues

We should also instill in kids the importance of consciously using money. This, of course, involves spending, saving, and also sharing with those in need.

Let’s say your children receive a monthly allowance of 20$. A useful way of teaching the concept of sharing could be committing 2$ of said allowance to a charity they choose. And then perhaps taking him to meet the people that charity helps, or at least show them their website, so they see the effect of that small action.

This way, aside from learning not to take for granted everything that they have and learning about other people’s struggles, children become more socially-aware and empathic individuals.

Giving should be a Daily Practice!

It does not need to be Christmas or someone’s birthday to express joy in the practice of selflessly giving something. Also, gifts are not only those things you can buy. There are infinite ways of giving in our everyday life. Be it by lending a helping hand, sharing a chocolate bar, or just by being there for someone.

The objective here is to reach a level in which the act of giving becomes more of a subconscious action, almost a reflex, and not something that children feel as imposed or premeditated.

Teach them to be Grateful

Gratitude is one of the most precious things we can give, but what’s even more valuable is to instill this in our children by recognizing the labor of everyone around us. Teachers, Doctors, Firefighters, Sanitation Workers all contribute to the well-being of our community, and, as such, their contribution must be acknowledged by everyone.  Stop by and chat with them, let children express what inquiries they might have about their jobs, or even present them with a small gift (a drawing or some cookies).

Be kind to Animals

Whether it’s your own pet or those around your community, few beings are more grateful than animals. This makes them the perfect vehicle to teach kids the joy that giving brings. Take turns taking care of your pet’s needs. This will teach your kids how to be responsible for another’s life while having fun! If you don’t have one, you can set up a feeding station on your porch for your kids to tend to neighboring pets -or strays-, just don’t leave them unsupervised. And if that’s not possible, a bird feeder in the window can have the exact same effect.

Helping Hands

Spending time with older people or visiting a nursing home is another example of how parents can teach their children about empathy and caring for another person. Engaging in such activities can be rewarding both for your kids as for the other persons. And it all thanks to the feedback resulting from the shared experience. This is a totally win-win scenario because, as you go about performing tasks, children get to learn from your example while having a blast from listening to old-times stories.

Clean out and Donate

Periodically cleaning out your closets can be the perfect opportunity to donate some items to your church, charity, or some other service organization. Get children involved by having them sort clothes by different sizes, gender, and colors; make it fun! And, of course, make sure they accompany you when you go to deliver them. Alongside their clothes, they can also pick some of their older toys and set up a few handcrafted gift-boxes to give out to less fortunate kids.

Fixing Community Leisure Areas

What better way to find joy in giving than by teaming up with your kids in improving the spaces in which you enjoy your free time? Contribute by painting benches in your community park, repairing damaged playground equipment, or donating implements for the basketball court. You and your neighbors can even form a local maintenance brigade. In doing so, your kids not only learn to value team effort but also become more appreciative and vigilant in the preservation of these areas.

Shared Knowledge

Not all of us excel at every subject in school, but this can also be an opportunity to learn about how beneficial giving/sharing actually is. Organizing study meetings for your kids and their friends can work wonders. Almost immediately, they start to support one another with the subjects each one of them handle better. This free-flowing exchange of information and mutual help allows children to bond with their peers and value the importance of having a support group outside of their own families. Keep in mind that the most important step towards raising more compassionate individuals is making sure that kids learn the joy of giving!

If your kid can identify himself with the happiness the other person expresses, then your job has been fruitful.

Sharing is caring!