Thanksgiving is on Thursday and while it’s never been one of my favorite holidays (I don’t care for most of the traditional holiday food.) I think this is the perfect time to start teaching Jude about giving. We have so many things to be thankful for and I think one of the best ways we can express our thankfulness is to give back. I take for granted so many things in my life. Things I think I am “owed” or “deserve”, things that many other people would see as a luxury. Giving-back not only reminds me of how fortunate I am to have the life I have but it teaches me that even when I think I have very little to give I actually have an overabundance.
I want to teach these same principles to my kids. I want them to look at the holiday season as more than just a time to receive presents and eat too much. But when I sat down to think about HOW I would teach them I came up a little short.
I started to ask around to other moms about how they teach their children to give.
Here are a few great posts by moms who are teaching their children to be givers:
I think most importantly I found that the first step in teaching your child to be a giver is to be a giver yourself. Children learn by example and if you are giving-back they will learn that giving-back is the norm.
- Be An Example. Be a giver and let your children witness you giving. Make it a family affair, let them be a part of the giving process.
- Talk About Giving. Discuss with your children other ways your family can help and give to those in need. Make it a part of the conversation.
- Make It A Habit. Maybe your family gives regularly to an specific organization or has a special holiday tradition that involves giving. Be consistent and your kids will grow to love the tradition and habit of giving.
- Be Welcoming. Giving isn’t just about donating money or goods to those in need. It’s a state of the heart. Invite people into your life and home. Share a meal with new friends. Reach out to someone different. Kids see the intentions of our heart.
- Encourage. When you see your child being generous, praise the positive behavior. Let them know you are proud of them for sharing their toy with a friend.
I am teaching my 3 year old to give because I don’t think he is too young to understand giving, in fact I think this is the perfect time to teach him to give.