Over the last few days we have witness hurricane disasters so now more than ever is important to talk to our children about the power of giving and contributing. Hollywood Learning Centers, a preschool for little ones in Hollywood, FL put together a list of 5 ways to teach our children to be more giving.
Start When they are Small.
It’s never to early to start. We can’t expect to teach children to be giving in their teens. We have to start when they are young. Even small deeds count. Parent can begin by instilling sharing habits. This is easier when the children has siblings, but if not parents can try with other family members.
Is your child easy to share toys or his food and snacks with others? Test them, see what their answers are. If it’s what you were expecting, continue to encourage them to share and give to others. Complement and even reward their efforts. Your young child might be happy to help bake cookies for friends or children in need. However, If your child is less likely to give, try to understand them and see where this is coming from. Instead of getting upset with them or punishing them, talk to them about the importance of giving and make a plan to instill empathy in them.
- Reality Checks
Seeing commercials of poor children or other disadvantaged groups might not the reality check our kids need. If those don’t work, it’s best to take them to see why giving is important.
Take a ride to deprived area with a high number of homeless or to an orphanage for our children to learn why we must share and donate to others (books, toys, clothes, etc). This will not only make those kids extremely happy, but it will teach our children about having empathy towards those children and eventually empathy towards everyone in need as they grow up.
- Walk the walk
My family has always been one to give. Coming from a poor country teaches you to appreciate and share the blessings given. Be a role model for your little ones. As you know, children love to imitate their parents. If they see us volunteering or donating, they will do it. The passion and dedication we put into giving and sharing to others will reach their little hearts. Not only will they be proud of you but they would follow your lead.
- Give Year-round
We don’t always have to wait for a disaster to take place to give. Of course earthquake and hurricanes’ victims could use all the help in the world, but giving can be a year-round effort. There are plenty of opportunities to help. Here at Hollywood Learning Center we are always collecting items for disasters victims or feeding the homeless. Not much money or planning is required. When we don’t have a particular cause to donate or contribute to, we buy water and distribute them to the homeless on a hot day or buy dinner and go around looking for someone who might need it. The feeling you’ll get is so rewarding it’ll become a habit.
- Simplify Giving
Some believe giving, donating or volunteering requires a lot of money or efforts and of course we are all busy parents who work and barely have time.That is not true! Giving can be fun.
For example, buying two bags of sandwich bread, 1 pound of ham and cheese would not even come to $10, but it can feed 24 people. Buying a pack of water for the same group of 24 cost $5. Yet, that might be too much for some families, in that case, we all have toys, books or clothes we no longer use but are still in good conditions. There are also groups that come together to help particular causes.
This week, Hollywood Learning Centers will be collecting items for those affected by Hurricane Irma and to help rebuild Florida’s paradise, The Keys.