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Teach Your Child To Be More Generous With These Tips

October 26th, 2017
Lisa L.
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Teach Your Child To Be More Generous With These Tips
"There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up."
― John Holmes
Being generous means being UNselfish. And that's not always natural for children (or adults!)

How does a parent or caregiver help a child understand that giving is fun and feels good?

How does a mum or dad infuse the lifelong desire and habit of giving, when it is more natural to gather and hoard for oneself?

Model Giving.

My mum was always on the lookout for people with needs. She bought clothes for them, fed them, and drove them places.

When a parent donates to hurricane relief, gives blood, drops coins in a bucket, or brings a meal to a needy neighbour, a child will think giving is normal.

They will see that it makes people on both sides feel good.

Start at a young age.

We all know that it's hard for young children to give up even a simple toy to a sibling or friend. You can practise sharing painlessly with an infant: just ask your baby to give you his toy. He realises that mum will always give his toy back!

This seems trivial, but it actually is "generosity practise" in an easy, early form.

When the child is older and has a play date, talk about sharing ahead of time. Praise sharing and giving when it happens! She hears you say, "Did you see how glad Sophia was when you gave her that toy?"...and she understands the happy impact of generosity.
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Make money giving a habit.

When money hits the palm of your child's hand, have a plan in place.
One way to do this is to have three jars ready.

The jars are marked: saving, spending and giving.
Plan with your child what percentage of money earned or gifted should go into each jar.

It's easier to give when the money is there, just waiting for the right need to come along.

(Besides teaching generosity, it's a good tool for maths practise.)
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Practise generosity everywhere.

Do you see someone in line at the grocery store with only a few items, while you are wielding a full cart?
Let the other shopper go first.

Do you get mail asking for money?
Let your child participate in giving to legitimate causes.

Show them what you are doing and tell them why.

When giving is frequently modeled, planned and practised, it becomes an excellent and lifelong habit!
"You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."
― John Bunyan
Any comments or good ideas to share? Please do!

Lisa x

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