In all the hustle and bustle of the season, the main reason behind the holidays can be lost. Especially on kids who are making their list, wishing for lots of presents under the tree, and watching commercial after commercial of the latest “cool” toy.
Teaching my kids to give back is huge for me. I’m very, very blessed to be able to provide them with a wonderful Christmas, but when I was a child, my family was not.
Teaching kids to look outside of their world can be hard, especially if their friends also live with little want in their lives. There are many ways we can teach our children to be charitable, though. It can be an all-year lesson that leads them to have a giving spirit when people need it most!
Here are my tips for how to teach kids about charity. Do you have other ways you teach your littles about giving? Share them with me in the comments below!
Even if you have to buy new clothes or other items, you can teach children about charity by purchasing from these brands that give back!
1. Teach by example
It’s a well-known fact that children mimic what their parents and adults in their lives do. By having a charitable heart that your kids witness, you can pass it on, as well.
I often donate as opposed to selling because there are so many organizations that need things more than I need the small stipend I might make from the item. Especially during the holidays, gently used toys, coats, and clothing are always appreciated.
2. Adopt a family for the holidays
Four other moms and I have adopted a family with three kids that have had a really rough year. The child we’re shopping for is a 15-year-old boy. While I have daughters, I think taking them with me to choose presents for him and then having them accompany me while we drop the presents off at the home is invaluable.
By participating in the whole process and seeing the real, grateful people behind the gift, I can make a real impact on how they choose to give in the future.
3. Be honest
I think, as parents, we like to sugar coat what we tell kids about people in need. The truth is, we all fall on hard times and some recover faster than others.
So, when I talk to my children about people who may need a little extra help over the holidays, I try to be as clear and honest as I can. I tell them about children who are sick in hospitals, how some people can lose their jobs and have a hard time finding a new one, and that even some kids in their school might be struggling, too.
I think they need to grow up knowing that when they give, they really help, even if they don’t know the whole story.
4. Make it an event
Recently, we were honored to get 50 toys to donate to our community from a company I work with. I took my kids out of school early and made it a special day for them as well as the charities we donated to!
By making it a memory of fun and love, it leaves them with a sense that donating is a wonderful thing! I took them to the local Boys and Girls club, to a military family toy drive, and to the fire station where they were collecting for kids. I let them lead the way, talking to the staff and unloading the toys. By the time we were done they wanted to go to the store and buy 50 more toys to give away!
5. Teach them that donating time counts
Photo by a katz
Not all of us have extras to donate or the money to purchase things to give. But we all can rearrange our schedules a little to give some time.
During the holiday break, I want to take my kids to the animal shelter to help out those pets who don’t have homes this holiday. In a few years, when they’re older, I want to take them to read and play games with kids at hospitals.
Just the time it takes to give back a little can make all the difference in the world. Giving time counts and I want them to learn that!
You could also invite older children to help you prepare a meal for a local shelter. This story is about volunteering to serve a Thanksgiving dinner, but the tips can be used to volunteer year round!
Giving back is a never ending lesson that should be taught to kids. As long as you are leading the way, teaching them to do so will be natural.