Giving back to our local community and the world at large can be part of the daily conversations we have with our children. We can donate not only money, but also time, effort and valuable goods to people or places that are less fortunate than we are. It feels good to give to others, and when it becomes part of our everyday life, we give because we want to, not because someone asked us to. C.Children do like us. When you have conversations about giving back, explain them Why and include them in an age-appropriate manner.
Here are 5 ways to meaningfully involve children in giving:
Practice gratitude daily
Practicing gratitude every day enables us to see all the things we have in our life and opens our eyes to what we can be thankful for. We can thank our 5 senses, family and friends, our environment and our local communities. We can discuss wants and needs with the children and highlight the clear differences between them. For example: “Me want Eating ice cream for breakfast, but I don’t need that! ”When we talk about wants and needs, we can tap into empathy. It makes us aware of the needs of others by putting us in someone else’s shoes. Conversations about gratitude should start at home and focus on the things that are close to us, such as our home, playroom, and bedroom. From there we can expand outwards. We can begin by giving back to ourselves, to others who are close to us, to our community, and then to the world at large.
Take care of our planet
The earth gives us so much and it’s our job to keep it clean. We can do things like turn off the lights in our house when we are not using it. We can throw away our trash. We can be aware of the items we are buying. When you go for a walk with your child, point out any litter you come across. Discuss where the trash should go. You may not be able to pick up the trash you are about to see, but with the right supplies you can revisit this place and remove the trash you find. In your home, discuss the steps you can take to care for your home while protecting the earth.
We are responsible for a multitude of things in our life. From a young age you can give your children the opportunity to exercise responsibility in dealing with their belongings and their rooms. You can start helping on a small scale, and you can consistently model what responsibility looks like. Depending on the age of your children, you can curate a “Helping Glass” that lives in your family room. You can use a glass and objects from nature such as stones or seashells. Every time someone helps complete a task, you can drop a rock in the glass. When it’s filled to the brim, it’s time to have a discussion. “Wow, we all worked together to take care of our belongings and our home!”
Offer everyday friendliness
You can make handmade notes and cards for the people who help you on a regular basis. When writing thank you cards, be aware and specific about what you are thanking for. Holding someone’s door open and calling someone just to say hello is sharing the kindness that is already within you.
Give back to people, causes, organizations and charities
Volunteering for local organizations teaches your children the importance of community. Take part in different activities that your children can identify with: toys, books, clothes and even pet food. Talk to your children about the things they no longer use and emphasize that they can share those things with others who need them. See what you can buy that will help others in need. If we give something back to others in our community, we can give something back to our environment, to the animals that live there and then end up ourselves. After all, we give something back worldwide!