Parenting And Teaching Kids To Be Charitable

What can you do to teach children about charity and helping others? charity begins at home: lemonade for Hurricane reliefOne of the most rewarding and unselfish aspects of the holidays is the ability to give to charitable organizations. You need only look around at the homeless and sick children to realize how fortunate you are to have everything you need, while they are lucky to have one meal a day. This is the time for children and charity to become synonymous. Here are some ideas that may help.

Most children do not realize what they have until they see another child wanting. Your child’s school may have engaged in the Toys For Tots program, which is a worthy program. Perhaps your child made a donation of one or two toys. If not, it is important to get your kids involved, no matter how miniscule, in the charitable field. The exposure to others who have very little is a lesson every child should learn and understand.

Viewing kids from other countries on TV and their plight, while disheartening, does not allow your kids to truly relate to the problems these poor kids face. Perhaps taking your kids to a children’s hospital; or explaining homeless shelters to them and who resides there may help them understand the need to share. Certainly, any of the programs in their school which involve helping the poor are explained to them by their teachers. However, it is the first hand experience that leaves a lasting impression.

Why not make it not only a holiday but a part of life by asking your kids to choose one toy to be given to a child in the hospital a few times a year. Your local charitable organizations can also provide you with the names of hospitals and other local chapters where your kids can donate their toys. It is important they get a glimpse of what poverty really is, and the impact it has on other children. No book or TV program can instill in them how fortunate they are as compared to other children.

Much of parenting can be accomplished by setting a good example for our children. Giving at Church, helping others, getting involved in fundraisers all help set that example. As your child starts to get older getting them involved in events and organizations involved with others helps. When Katrina hit I saw a sign with kids selling Lemonade to help raise money. Many times our children may see a disaster in the news and it is up to us to help show them what they can do that will help out and that those events are not just something that is on the news that we cannot do anything about.  

Finally, once they have experienced giving to charities; they will most likely do so for the rest of their lives. Children and charity work is not only rewarding, but teaches kids the value of what they have, and the responsibility they owe to others less fortunate then themselves.

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April 30, 2007

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