Parents want their children to be generous. Amongst the first few words we teach them – ‘momma’, ‘papa’, ‘yes’ and ‘no’ – somehow, they also learn ‘mine’, and then we teach them ‘Share’. It pleases us when we see them give. And it hurts when they are selfish with their stuff.
In this blog I would like to share with you some ways through which we can help children experience the happiness and joy that they can derive from giving.
Guide the Child
As soon as our children are old enough to count their own money, we can teach them to divide it into three portions: one for saving, one portion for spending and one for giving. Provide them with three different envelopes for saving, spending and giving purposes. And by giving one portion of their money away, they learn that giving is as important as saving and spending. This is one way by which we help children create a room for giving in their budget. After all, as parents, we provide for their needs. They will be amazed at how quickly their giving envelope will grow. Even at a very young age, our children will quickly learn the habit of giving away an amount, even if it really matters to them.
Engage them in your giving
Of course one of the best ways to teach your children to give is for them to see it played out in real life. While modelling giving in front of your children is the highest priority, it’s also imperative to teach them why we give. While offering clothes, rugs, food or books to the needy, ask your children to perform the action of giving these away, which will seed the thought of giving in their minds. When you have opportunity, engage your children in your family giving. They will likely draw on these experiences some day in their own giving journeys.
Create a Blessings Jar
Help your child create her Blessings Jar. Encourage your child to write a blessing on a piece of paper and how she wishes to express her gratitude to God through an Act of Giving. Let us for an example consider the following scenario, where a child feels blessed for having a very lovable pet dog. The child wishes to express her gratitude to God by donating Rs. 500 to the Blue Cross to take care of injured dogs. The child, by doing this, utilizes the money that has been kept in store for giving. Motivate the child to collect all the notes of Blessings that she has written on the bits of paper, and on her birthday, help her execute the acts of gratitude by giving to others. This helps her birthday become the most memorable day of the year.