With the holidays, comes presents. More and more commercials start popping up about this toy and that toy. Stores begin advertising the ‘hot toys’ of the season. These ads are usually directed toward children. How do we make sure they don’t get in the habit of saying “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” or “I want! I want! I want!” and begin saying statements like, “I bet Susie would love that!” or, “Can we buy this for Tommy?”
“I want this, this, this, this….”
Have you heard this from your kids before? It’s natural for humans to want things. Children are curious, from the time they are infants, they gravitate toward things that look interesting to them. They grab the things that catch their eye. It continues as we get older. Even as adults, we still try to get the things that we want.
How Do We Teach our Children to Have a Desire to Give?
Starting at a young age, you should begin teaching your children the importance of charity and giving. Though this season usually tends to be focused on charity, we need to teach our children the importance of giving throughout the year rather than only focusing on it during the holidays. We’ve compiled a few different ideas on how you can go about teaching your children to give.
Sign up for a local giving tree
There are usually local businesses that have a giving tree. On the tree there are ornaments that have information for different families or children in need. These families don’t have the means to buy toys or much-needed clothes for themselves. Take your child to pick an ornament of their own. Let them help choose what you’ll buy for the family in need. If possible, make sure they are involved in wrapping the presents and dropping them off. Remind them throughout the process of why you are giving to the family in need. Tell them how happy you will make that family.
There is always a need for volunteers to serve food in homeless shelters. There are also several different charities that need volunteers. A good one for families to join would be Meals on Wheels. You deliver food to people who aren’t able to leave their homes to buy groceries. Bring your children along. They will be able to meet the people who you are serving!
Donate unused toys and clothes
Even when we try to avoid it, we usually end up having more toys and clothes than we could possibly need. Have your children go through their toys and pick out the toys that they don’t play with anymore. Have them gather up their clothes that are too small. Donate them to shelters. Remind them that you are giving to families who can’t afford to buy toys and clothes.
Participate in a Toy Drive
During this time of year, there are usually several toy drives going on. Many stores have bins you can put donated goods in. You can teach your child about the toy drive and then have them pick out a toy from the store that they think other children would enjoy. Have your child put the toy in the toy drive box before you leave the store.
Have your children pick out presents for others
Whether it’s Christmas presents, birthday presents or anything in between, letting your children pick out presents to give others is a great way to help them learn charity. One way you can do this is to give them a set amount of money that they can spend. Let them look around the store and pick things out they think the recipient would love. This not only teaches them to give, but also can help them learn the importance of keeping track of their money! You can go to a thrift store for this one so your kids can have more choices!
Lead by example
We all can agree that children learn best by watching others. If we really want our children to learn to be charitable, we have to be charitable ourselves. Even when you don’t think your children are listening, make sure you are always giving. They are usually listening and watching even when you don’t think they are.
Just as kids are born to want things for themselves, they are also born wanting to be charitable. I’m sure we’ve all had half-eaten food offered to us, or pacifiers pushed toward our mouths. Children naturally want to give. Somewhere along the line, the selfishness starts to take over. Use these tips to help your children stay charitable.
We want to wish all of our customers a happy holiday season! We hope you enjoy spending these precious moments with your families!