5 practical ways to raise children that are generous and love giving
Children learn from their parents the value of charitable giving. The following are five practical tips to teach children and young people the value and essence of charitable giving.
1. Talk the talk, then walk the walk
We often assumed one crucial way to teach children about being generous was to role-model charitable giving. If they see us give, they’ll want to give themselves. But while role-modeling does have its benefits, it’s not the most effective way to teach kids about charitable giving.
According to a study conducted by Indiana University, parents who talk to their children about charitable giving significantly increase the likelihood their children will give to charity, more so than role-modeling alone.
Parents who want to raise charitable children should talk intentionally with them about their own philanthropic values and practices throughout childhood and adolescence in addition to role-modeling.
According to the study: Parents who want to raise charitable children should talk intentionally with them about their own philanthropic values and practices throughout childhood and adolescence in addition to role-modeling.”
2. The give jar
Set up a jar or any container for your children and labelled it Charity, Donation or any name they like and encourage them to drop money inside it from time to time. When the amount gets to a particular level, they can take it out and with proper guidance, give it to any charity or person-in-need of their choice. This should be different from the children’s piggy bank if they have one.
3. Make it personal
Trying to make the concept of giving to others as tangible as possible to children will carry the lesson of charitable giving even further. There are a few ways parents can accomplish this. Suggestions include donating in the child’s name, making the child personally hand-over such donations to the intended beneficiaries and allowing the child (especially the older ones) decide who receives the donation.
4. Show them the results
As much as it is possible, show the children the result of their giving and the impact it does have on the beneficiaries. For example, if your child donates to an orphanage, visit the orphanage with the child and let him or her see what his or her donation is accomplishing along with those of others. This will encourage them further to give once they see and experience for themselves the joy, happiness and comfort that their giving bring to others.
5. Make it a gradual process
We need to understand that it is a long journey to encourage children to be givers. The benefits of giving money away to others are not something children are going to grasp tomorrow. The journey of raising empathetic children happens in small steps and over time.
The following article is adapted from an original article written Kerry and available here.