One of the good things that has come out of COVID-19 is the reiteration of the need to show empathy to our fellow humans. The economic implications of sitting at home and not working are empty plates and 0.00 bank account balances. At some point in time, during the lock down, most of us had to give money or foodstuff to assist either a neighbour, a friend or worker. Some went a step further to give on different donation platforms, while others volunteered to assist the government in one way or the other.
Charitable giving is an important part of building wealth. It is a known fact that the wealthiest people in the world give away a substantial part of their wealth. As the Bible says, there is nothing we have that we weren’t given. So it’s important that children also learn how to give and understand the essence of giving. This pandemic presents an opportunity for parents to introduce their wards to giving.
Here are 5 ways to teach your kids how to give:
Lead by Example
If you want your kids to be kind and generous, then you have to be kind and generous too. It starts with you. It is a known fact that children learn a lot from what they see their parents and other people around them do. Intentionally give when they are with you. It might be as simple as letting go of your change, or some other form of generosity. It is, however, more significant that you explain to them the importance of giving and how rewarding it can be.
According to a study conducted by Indiana University, parents who talk to their children about charitable giving significantly increase the likelihood that their children will give to charity, more than parents to just show them how to give. This implies that beyond role-modelling, it is more important that you continuously and intentionally talk about your own philanthropic beliefs and values.
Regularly Give Out Clothes and Toys
Every now and then, rid your closet of clothes you hardly wear. Do the same with the children’s closet. Help them understand that there are people who don’t have enough clothes to wear, hence the need to regularly give out clothes. Do this together with them, let them pick out the clothes, shoes and toys they would like to give out and take them along with you to drop off the items at an orphanage or charity.
Start From Your Neighbourhood
You can help your kids become more charitable by encouraging them to do something nice for those in your neighbourhood or even those around you. It can be as simple as giving water/food to the security personnel at the gate or making a thank-you card for the domestic help/nanny.
Save Towards It
Encourage them to save towards giving to others; a portion of their savings can be dedicated to donating to the less privileged. They can set a goal to give a certain amount of money to charity by Christmas or their next birthday. While they are saving, you can assist them in picking an orphanage or charity they can give the money to. Shopping for a charity/orphanage will expose their minds to what these charities do and the essence of giving.
Set Up Giving Projects
You can take a step further by assisting your kids in creating periodic giving projects. This project can be about them working together with their friends to donate old toys, clothes and shoes to an orphanage. If you have older kids, you can encourage them to work together with their neighbourhood friends to clean up the environment on a Saturday. This will help with not just their willingness to give, but also with developing soft skills like teamwork.
Teaching children how to give and show empathy at an early age, and practicing it as they progress through life into adulthood, will reinforce in them that giving and helping others is the way to live.