If you’re the parent of a young child, you start to realize pretty quickly how many things you need to teach them about being functional people. You also want to instill the right values in them so that they’re more than just functional, but kind and generous as well. It’s not always easy to get a young child to understand the importance of generosity since they don’t understand much outside of their own perspective. We have a few ways to teach children the value of giving back that should help them understand why it’s so important.
Lead By Example
One of the best ways to teach children the importance of giving back is to show them how important it is to you specifically. If there’s one thing we know about young children, it’s how much they love to imitate their parents. If they see you giving back whenever you can, you can show them how important you think it is. This is something they’ll adopt for themselves over time to be more like you.
Make Giving Back a Regular Occurrence
Having structure is much more important to children than some people realize. Our brains need structure, which is why repetition is so effective for teaching children valuable lessons. For example, seeing the Purple Heart Pickup arrive at your house every month is a great way to instill the idea of giving as a normal thing to do through repetition. As they continue to see it happen regularly, it starts to feel like the right thing to do.
Explain In Simple Terms
Sometimes, the best thing to do is to have a frank conversation about the idea of giving back. Explain in the simplest terms why it’s so important to do your part to help others. You may not want to get into the specifics of why certain people need our help. But just telling them that some people aren’t as fortunate as your family can allow them to understand why giving back is a good idea.
Ask How They Would Like To Help
You don’t just want your kids to copy you forever; eventually, they need to be autonomous and make their own decisions. You can ease them into this by asking them how they would like to help out. It’s a good idea to have a few suggestions for them to pick from to make the process smoother. When they’re the ones who choose the giving activity, they can feel a sense of ownership over the good they’ve done.
Talk About How It Feels
After the giving activity, check in with your children and talk about the good feelings they experience from helping someone out. Helping them understand what’s going on in their heads afterward can make their feelings easier to comprehend.