Possibly the most effective way to teach our kids about generosity is to model it ourselves. Kids learn from example, and they will notice us acting on those everyday opportunities to be generous. Involving our kids in things like donating to charities, choosing presents for people, leaving tips and thank you notes to those who serve us… there’s an endless array of lovely generous moments to grab a hold of and include our children in. Talking about generosity and sharing inspiring stories of philanthropy will also spark our children’s curiosity in this area and encourage them to think of creative ways to share what they have with others.
And besides the good old-fashioned parental role-modelling, here are some other ideas for ways to get kids giving...
– Sponsor a child in the developing world through the likes of TearFund or World Vision. Kids can be directly involved by perhaps contributing some of their pocket money each month and writing letters to their new friend in a faraway land.
– De-cluttering bedrooms and donating toys and books to charity. This is a great moment to talk to your kids about only giving away things that are in good condition – op shops don’t want our rubbish. Level up with a chat about consumption, quality vs quantity and less is more…
– Choose new toys to buy for other children and donate them to various Christmas gift initiatives.
– Invite your kids to choose something to purchase as a family from a Gift for Life catalogue – useful items that can make a huge difference to families in the developing world.
– Invite your kids to choose non-perishable food items at the supermarket and donate them to a food drive. Sometimes supermarkets have trolleys or collection points at the checkouts, ready for your donations.
– Find your local pātaka kai and donate some food items each week.
– Instead of birthday presents, ask for donations to a cause that your child feels passionate about. (This may seem way too idealistic, but true story – my 10-year-old has been invited to two birthday parties with these very instructions!)