What is the best way to create a charitable giver for life? Start 'em young. And how young is too young? That's one of the focuses of a great post written by the blogger at The Confident Mom entitled, "Ways to Teach Children about Charitable Giving."
Some parents believe that it’s important to wait for their children to grow a bit older (think six or seven) before teaching them these life lessons. In a way, these folks are right. The older the child is, the better his/her comprehension skills. However, according to Carol Weisman, the author of Raising Charitable Children, your kids are capable of understanding caring and giving at the tender age of three or four. At three, your child is quickly learning to communicate his/her needs. The child is also capable of comforting those around him/her. (Think of the time your own youngster offered you a hug when you were feeling down.) Remember, kids are like sponges.
This post includes six lessons for parents who want to instill the love of helping in their children, and one that really sticks out as important is to never make a child give something that they don't want to give:
Never force your child to give away anything that he/she doesn’t want to give – whether it’s toys, food, clothes, money, or even time. Kids, as adorable as they are, can be very stubborn sometimes and forcing them to do things they don’t understand will only breed further misunderstanding, and even resentment. Your goal here is to help your child become a better person by teaching him/her to become charitable—not to get into shouting fests with your youngster.
While requiring kids to give may seems like a good idea on its surface, this mom makes a good point about how charitableness should derive from a place of want, not a place of must. That way the child will want to give of themselves as adults, and not eschew it altogether once they reach maturity.
There are some really great suggestions about how to instill the value of philanthropy in young ones. Click over to read the entire post from this blogging mom whose ideas about teaching the importance of charity. Then add your own! Tell us here ways that you teach your own young ones about giving. We want to hear from you.
[Photo by epSos.de]