Raising Caring and Giving Children
As parents, it's natural for us to want to give our children the things we didn't have. In today's world it's often easy to confuse the wants of our children with their actual needs. Often, we respond to every 'I want' because we tend to give generously to our children, even those of us who typically practice moderation.
There are infinite numbers of toys, games and treats in today's world. And no matter how much our children have, they will always want more and there will always be a friend who has more.
How can we change this mind-set and raise caring and giving children that know the importance of giving rather than getting? Here are some tips on how we can teach our children to moderate their wants, be thankful for what they have, and to give to others.
Tips to teach children to be thankful
Try not to get in the habit of buying your child something every time you go in a shop, even if it's just sweets that they want.
When you go shopping and allow your child to buy something, avoid giving your child too many choices. When you go in the shop, let your child make a selection from the book aisle or the arts and crafts area.
Make quality family time the major goal that children look forward to, even in shopping expeditions.
Similar to other personal qualities, children learn empathy and compassion over time and through practice. There are things that you can do at home to encourage your child to be a compassionate and empathetic person. These include:
Modelling the ideals of caring and sharing with your children - you are one of the most influential people in your child's life. A child notices what you do and say. By demonstrating respect and tolerance towards your own friends, family and acquaintances, you become a wonderful role model for your children.
Volunteering with your children - this teaches them compassion and understanding towards others, but also gives them an opportunity to build their self-esteem and learn new skills. In addition, non-profit organisations can undertake new initiatives and achieve new goals thanks to the participation of eager families. In the nurseries, we encourage children and their families to participate in fundraising events throughout the year for things such as the Bright Spaces Projects. This raises money and donates time to create happy bright spaces for children and their families.
Using your own charitable donations to teach your children how to give something back - most of us have donated in one way or another to a cause we believe in. If you involve your children in the decision-making and giving process, the money that you donate can go even further. And as an added bonus they'll learn valuable lessons in money management, and community involvement.
Exposing your children to experiences that encourage kindness and empathy allows them to realise they can make a difference even at an early age. Letting them see how, even as children, they have the power and ability to do some amazingly caring and giving things will be a message that will carry with them for the rest of their lives.