Being a part of a community is a very special part of the human experience. It provides us with people to love and a sense of belonging. It also comes with the understanding that there are people in every community who have unmet needs. If you find yourself in a position where your basic needs are met, and you have something to share, that can benefit your community greatly.
Adults find this very easy to understand. But for children, it can be a little more complex. It’s really a parent’s responsibility to help children understand the needs of their community and how they can help. Also important is to teach them to appreciate what they have, and how being fortunate is a gift. This opens the door to a life of understanding the importance of giving back.
The big question for some parents is, how do you teach your child to give back? There are so many ways you can open this conversation. It will also change as your children grow. What is appropriate for teenagers may not be for smaller children. You just want to make sure you are having this conversation and being an example of how to help others in need.
Here are a few ideas of ways you can show your children different ways to give back.
Time is something that anyone can give, and it doesn’t cost a thing. There are a lot of organizations that can use your family’s time to help them out. Do some research and find a cause your family is interested in and plan to give it a try. You can do a variety of things, from helping build a home to packing food for children overseas, and lots of things in-between. There are some age restrictions and commitment requirements for a few organizations, so just keep that in mind.
Saving a portion of one’s allowance for charity.
If you give your child an allowance, consider teaching them to give a percentage to charity. Give them the freedom to think about what organization they would like it to go to, and support their choice. You may even think about matching their donation.
Teach them to give before they receive.
When birthdays and holidays roll around, it’s a great time to teach your child to give some of their under-used toys to a child who could really love them. This can be really hard for children, but it is important to help them understand how blessed they are and how their giving could really brighten another child’s day. This is great because you can start doing this when they are very young, and it will become something they are prepared to do throughout the year.
Talk about those in need around the world and in your community.
One of the best ways to help your children learn to give back is to be honest with them about people in need. Talk to then about the people around the world and in the community who are in need. It will give them an understanding of what they should be grateful for and why it is important to give back. You don’t have to go too deep with young children, but you can talk about this in age-appropriate ways. You might be surprised about the empathy they show to others.
Giving back is a really important life lesson we should all be thinking about when it comes to raising our children. Teaching all children to give back to our community and to those around the world who are in need can only help our world become a better place.