Monday, November 4, 2013

Five Ways to Teach Your Kids to Give Back

I read a lot of articles about teaching kids the importance of giving thanks and giving back.  One thing that most of those articles mention is that when it comes to getting started, pick a cause that is close to your family's heart.  From there, giving back can take a lot of forms.  The important thing is to figure out what works best for you, but then, like Nike is known for saying, to just do it

When I came across this article about teaching your kids to give back, it seemed to embody a lot of what I have read and would have said myself.  So rather than recreate the wheel, I'm including the article below.  You can find the original article here.

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With the holidays swiftly approaching, we’re reminded of the value of gratitude and the importance of giving.  In this age of mass consumerism, teaching our kids the principles of gratitude and charity are more important than ever. As we celebrate togetherness in this season of hope, let us include our children in the joy that comes from giving.

Teaching our children to give back is easier than you might think. Take a look at these 5 simple ways to inspire a giving spirit in your kids.

1. Give by example: Kids learn what they see. Serve as a positive example of giving for your children. Whether you donate unwanted items to people in need or choose to volunteer your efforts, you’ll give your children the opportunity to witness the power of your time and generosity.

2. Utilize your kids’ interests: If your child loves animals, consider ways to get involved in animal shelter or charitable cause for animals. If your child is a social butterfly, think about ways they can offer companionship to children in need of a friend. A child who loves to read might enjoy reading to patients at a children’s hospital. Getting involved doesn’t have to feel like a chore for your child (or you)!

3. Collect smiles: Think about the people your child interacts with regularly – a teacher, a neighbor, maybe a piano teacher or coach. Brainstorm with your child about fun ways to bring a smile to their faces. Whether you choose to bake that special someone an unexpected treat, or draw a picture, giving to our everyday heroes feels good.

4. Friendship for a cause: Gather your child’s friends and parents to discuss ways you can work as a team to assist your local community! Your community spirit and enthusiasm for giving has the power to become contagious.

5. Make giving a tradition: Family traditions last for generations and what better new tradition than giving? Choose a cause dear to your family’s heart and take pleasure in knowing a tradition of giving reinforces a familial spirit of philanthropy and kindness.

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