I wanted them to become adults who were kind and could make the world a better place. But I wasn’t sure how to make this happen.
If you want your kids to be concerned about others, this tip can help:
Make your children aware of others’ struggles by giving to charity.
You may think that your children are too young to get involved, but if done carefully, even young children can grow from such activities.
Children Benefit by Helping Others
Children experience the good feelings that come from knowing they have helped.
They feel important and capable because they see that they can make a difference in their world.
As they think about situations beyond themselves, they become less self-absorbed and more grateful for the things they have.
Children Need to be Taught How to Help
Most children are naturally self-centered and often are less giving than their parents would like them to be. Children need to be taught how to act generously.
To lead your children to be more kindhearted, you can guide them in charitable giving:
First, offer choices of charities that match their interests. My daughter loved animals so she donated to a local pet shelter.
Second, with younger children, the recipient may need to be clear. For example, you could bring canned goods to a local food kitchen so the children actually see where the donation is going.
Next, remember there are ways to give other than money. You can encourage your children to volunteer their time for a cause. My son was fascinated by sharks, so he volunteered his time at a local aquarium. Another child who is interested in the environment could participate in a community clean-up project.
Lastly, let your children know when you donate to a charity, either with your time or money. Modeling is one of the most important ways that parents teach their children how to behave.
Talk about why you have chosen a particular charity. Discuss how your contribution will help and how you feel when you make such a donation. If appropriate, bring your children along when you donate your time to a cause you care about.
Children of all ages can benefit by learning that the more they give to others, the more they “get” – in terms of good feelings and knowing that they have made a difference in their world.