As parents, we strive to teach our children about the importance of giving. It can be for religious or personal reasons, or just because you feel a sense of obligation to help those that don’t have as much as you might have. Whatever your reasons, giving back to the less fortunate is a lesson that kids need to learn early in life, and Christmas is a wonderful time in which to teach the lesson.
Giving money. If you pass a homeless person, give them money. If this is something you are personally against, you can give money to the Salvation Army bell ringers. This will teach your children by example, and shows them that they don’t have to give a lot, because every little bit helps out those that have less.
Giving goods. If you can’t or don’t like to give money, maybe you can give goods. Every Christmas there are boxes for you to drop off an unwrapped toy for a child in need. Have your child choose a toy for a child that may not otherwise get one. Tell them imagine if they didn’t get anything for Christmas and ask them to pick something they would want. This puts them right in the middle of the giving and makes them excited to help. Plus, they can empathize with the thought of not having a toy to open on Christmas morning.
Give time. You can also volunteer with your children at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, or even children’s hospitals to help bring joy to people this holiday season. By putting your children right in the middle of giving back, they see first-hand how important it is and how much they are needed. This shows them that they are important, too, and not just their money, in giving back to the community and the less fortunate.
Have them give to one another. Giving to other people is great, especially when it is to stranger sin need, but one way for your kids to really see the impact of giving is for them to give a gift to one another. To make this extra special, ask them to give a gift that they must make by hand.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!