Teaching Kids to Give – Thanks AND Giving


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:

Above All Else Is Charity

Birthday Wish: A Celebration of Water

Our Angel Tree Gift

Random Acts of Zhu

As Simple As A Cereal Box

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

How do you teach giving and generosity to your children?


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