Most parents endeavor to pass on the compassionate gene to their children, but how do we teach them to give?
A recent article suggests that simply sharing when your family has received help might be enough to inspire your children to give back to the world.
“Quite often our instinct is to answer children’s questions about giving in the abstract,” author Ron Lieber writes. We tell them it’s the right thing to do, or in some cases, because religious tradition requires it.
But our abstract reasons for giving might not satisfy children’s curiosity or desire for specificity. Instead, Lieber writes that “the best way we can instill compassion in a child is to tell them that we give “to honor our own family’s history of being helped.”
“People they know, perhaps even their mother or father, have benefited from someone else’s donations. And since your family was lucky enough to receive help, it’s only fair that you help some other families, too.”
How do you teach your child to give? Would you ever open up to your children about a time you were the beneficiary? Leave a comment below and share your suggestions for inspiring kids to give.
Source: Ron Lieber, To Teach Children to Give, Tell Them How Much Your Family Has Been Given, New York Times, October 28, 2015
Photo by Kjrsten Madsen