Every parent wants to raise their children to be generous and thoughtful. In the crush of day-to-day struggles over arranging for afterschool sports, homework, and family time, however, thoughts of charity or community work can understandably wilt by the wayside. Instilling a passion for charitable giving and empathetic work can be hard – but if parents make cultivating that thoughtfulness early on, it isn’t impossible. Here, I take a closer look at some simple tactics parents can take when teaching their children the value of a charitable mindset and lifelong empathetic giving.
Like most other lifelong practices, it’s easiest to teach a child to value philanthropy at a young age. Consider making charitable action a yearly tradition! If you make a point of bringing your child to volunteer at a soup kitchen every holiday season, he or she will come to expect – or even look forward – to it each year as they grow. Conversely, an older child who doesn’t have any experience as a volunteer might complain or try to avoid giving their time. Start prioritizing philanthropy early!
Lead by Example
Your children want to emulate you. If you make a point of giving, your children will begin to embrace charitable action with you. Make it a family activity! Go through your closet in search of clothing to donate, and encourage your children to do the same. Then, ask them to accompany you on the way to your local dropbox or giving center. By making them a part of the giving process, you imbue them with a greater interest and sense of satisfaction than they would have gotten had you simply taken clothes from their closets yourself.
Get Involved With the Neighborhood
Encourage your child to be a good neighbor! If you have an elderly neighbor who might need a helping hand to do the yardwork or bring up the paper once in a while, ask your child to lend a helping hand! These contributions will help them develop empathy for others and inspire them to think beyond their own daily interests.
Start a Family Charity Jar
Who doesn’t love family giving? Start a family charity jar, and encourage your children to donate a little of their allowance to it each month. After some time has passed, you can sit down with the family and collectively decide on a charity to donate the accrued funds to.
Charity is a lifelong value that needs to be learned young. Try these tips to help your child understand the value of philanthropy!