They say that charity and kindness begin at home. Whoever came up with the saying is not wrong. Children emulate the behaviour that they see in their parents. That is because parents are the first impressionable role model a child has. A child spends the majority of his life with his or her parents. During the early formative years, they begin to pick up a lot of habits and ways of thinking that stick with them as adults.
So, it stands to reason that if you want your child to grow up to be someone kind and charitable toward others, they need to see this behaviour coming from you first. Teaching your child to be generous is easier than you might think.
Here are some effective ways to teach your child to be charitable:
Make Charity a Visual Exercise
Visual stimulation is sometimes the best teacher for young children trying to make sense of the world around them. It is much easier for a child to comprehend a concept when they see it happening right before their eyes (seeing is believing, as the saying goes). Growing up, a child understands pictures before they understand complex ideas.
Teach your child to become giving and charitable by bringing it to life in front of them. How? Well, one example could be when they see you donating to a church, such as the United Church of Canada. That is an act of charity. Once they start to question why you do that, this is the opening line you need to begin teaching them about what it means to be charitable.
It is very important for children to do charity from a young age, because charity gives a deeper meaning to life and helps to see our purpose to the people in our society. In addition to doing charity and teaching your children to this important work, you can also instill faith in children from an early age. By emphasizing the religion and culture of the country, you can talk to your children, read books with them, and tell them stories so that they also emphasize all that. Also, if your child is active and sociable, you have the opportunity to make them participate in various group discussions, such as groups in churches, especially which include church curriculum for kids, through which your child will learn the importance of culture, religion, have their own opinion about it and start more to think maturely.
Empower Them to Begin Donating Too
If you want something to become a habit, it needs to start from a young age where children are concerned. Empower your little ones to become charitable little people by encouraging them to donate a portion of their allowance towards good causes. Spend some time sitting down with your kids and talking to them about the various charitable causes out there. Explain what each cause represents.
Finally, you could encourage them to pick one charity that interests them the most. Once they’ve done that, ask them how much of their allowance they would feel happy donating for a good cause. But it doesn’t just stop there. Let your kids see what a difference their donation is making by showing them all the good the charity could do. It can be very empowering for a child to see how a little bit is sometimes all it takes to make a real difference in the world.
Visit Some Charitable Foundations or Centers
If there is a charitable foundation or center close to where you live, this can be an excellent teaching tool. Bringing your child to visit these places will help them make a connection to the places they may be donating their allowance to. Instead of being a far distant organization that your child never comes into contact with, encourage them to get actively involved in the causes they choose to support.
This can be an immensely uplifting experience and an excellent teachable moment for your child. Children have an uncanny ability to remember the impactful experiences they encounter, and nothing is quite as impactful as getting involved in a charity for a good cause.
Nurture Them with Positive Reinforcement
Never underestimate the power of positivity. Nurturing your kids through positive reinforcement can profoundly impact them, especially where charity is concerned. It all starts by using encouraging and empowering words like “How would you like to make a difference in the world today?” or “You did a wonderful thing,” or “You’ve made a real difference today.”
Positive reinforcement can create a real sense of happiness and wellbeing in your child. Whenever you see your child doing something nice for someone else, reaffirm that by reminding them what a wonderful thing they did. Talk to them about how it made them feel to help someone else and nurture those feelings.
Engage in Activities That Model Generosity
Everyday things that you do around your home could be used as a tool that teaches your child about charity. It is easy to engage toddlers and young children in activities that model generosity. For example, you could get them involved in activities that encourage sharing and giving. Use positive language as you do this, such as “Do you want to share that with me?” or “One for you, one for me, now everyone is happy”.
In older children, activities that model generosity include encouraging them to share with their siblings and friends. Let’s say your child has a packet of several items (toys, snacks, or other goodies). Ask them if they would like to share that with anyone else. You’d be surprised at how little habits can go a long way in helping your child grow up to become a loving, giving, and generous adult.