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Give Unto Others: Teaching Children the Importance Of Giving Back

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

When you have children, they don’t come with any instruction manuals or how-to guides. Although you’re never on your own, ultimately it is up to you to help guide your children through a crazy world, and to help them create a moral compass that will not only guide their actions, but will also guide their own children one day. In a commercialized society that is all about wanting and needing more, one of the core values that becoming harder for children to relate with is the concept of giving back. By helping guide your children by instilling a giving unto others mentality is one of the greatest contributions that you can make towards a brighter future.

Make every occasion about receiving also about giving in return. With each holiday that your child is going to receive a gift, whether from yourself or family, make sure to also have your child give in return to those in need. When the holidays are approaching, make three lists with your child; what they would like for the holiday, what they would like to give to family members for the holiday, and what they would like to give to a family in need for the holidays. For their birthday, let them choose a charity that they would like to donate to as one of their gifts.

Help your children learn about the importance of “giving” by following your own example, with your time and resources. Be the first to sign up for special school fundraisers and events (when you can spare the time). Spend time in local soup kitchens, cleanup efforts, and other community programs ; talk to your children about where you are going and what you’re doing with your time. Explain the importance of your effort and the sense of accomplishment you feel knowing that you’re giving back. Your children will always be more open to the experience when they’re following your lead.

Use family vacation time as volunteer time. Get the whole family together to work for a good cause during their time off together. Volunteering doesn't need to happen half way around the globe to make a difference; look up projects to take part in for your local Habitat for Humanity, see about volunteering at local programs and camps for underprivileged children or children with special needs. See if there are beautification programs for you to take part in. Too often parents may hold back on participating because they feel their children are too young. Helping your children get involved now will help children understand, early on, how much they can help their community.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Give Unto Others: Teaching Children the Importance Of Giving Back

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