The art of gratitude is a very attractive and progressive one. There is that instant gratification feeling one gets when they do a good deed. It fuels our ‘feel good’ hormones.
Children need to learn how to give back unconditionally and how not to take the things they have for granted. By doing this, it will help mold them into better people. It is our role as parents to teach our children how to give back and how to develop that culture of generosity. This article explores some of the easy ways you can apply to teach your kids how to give back to the society.
Lead by example
Children learn a lot just by observing us. You cannot expect your child to be generous if you are not. Children are very good at imitating adults. If you want to them learn how to give back, you must also be willing to give back to society. There are many ways to do this. You can donate resources or volunteer for a project within the community that has special meaning to your family.
When you put yourself forward as willing to help, you are creating a good picture of what it takes to give back, and your children will most likely emulate this action. When you take your family out to dinner, make it a habit to leave a tip for the person who served you. It makes a huge difference to servers, and your children learn from your example. In our family, we also use this moment to practice math skills. I will ask my child “what’s 20% of $38?” Explain to your children why it is important to leave a tip whenever you eat out.
Let the kids learn that they are truly blessed
You should never take things for granted and neither should your children. The little pleasures you get to enjoy in life are sometimes considered luxuries to others. You children should appreciate the position that they are in without taking things for granted.
You can instill this virtue by reminding them that they are blessed to be who they are and because of this, they should consider helping others who are not as lucky as they are.
Share your stuff with others
Sharing and giving is an act of gratitude that cannot be compensated. Teach your kids to share what they have with their siblings, friends, and the needy in the community. No matter how little they have, the feeling of wanting to share with others should be present in them. Let them learn how to take care of other people as well. Start a food drive! You might be amazed at how many people will donate food items for a good cause! You can donate the food items (remember to check expiration dates), to several organizations right here in our area: Social Apostolate, America’s Second Harvest, Old Savannah City Mission, etc. Do this with a good heart and good cheer.
Visit homeless people
Besides helping your neighbors out, plan a trip to visit a shelter that helps homeless people. Spend some time with them and donate items they need such as bedding, personal hygiene kits, and food. They will appreciate this a lot.
Make sure to bring your children with you, so that they can get in touch with the reality of the community they live in. Allow them to donate their outgrown toys to shelters that house women and children. You can also visit nursing homes and spend some time talking to the residents. The elderly that live in nursing homes really appreciate these visits.
A Few Ways You Can Help Out Today
A few other easy ways that you can give back are to carry a case of water and granola bars in your car. When we are driving and my son sees a homeless person, he will roll down his window and hand them a bottle of water and a granola bar. It’s not much, but my child is almost always thanked and rewarded with a smile. Make up a few hygiene kits: toothbrushes, toothpaste, travel size deodorant, comb, bar of soap, hand sanitizer, a few breakfast bars/crackers, etc. Put these items in a gallon size Ziploc bag, and these can easily be kept in your car, or put in your bag while you are out and about.