Having children donate to others in need teaches them important lessons about generosity and giving. Children can donate clothes, toys they no longer need and books to the local library. They even can help pick out non-perishable food items to donate to local food banks. Have them donate new things as well, so they know how important it can be for others to have new gifts like they will receive during the holidays.
Rather than simply picking a charity with which your family can get involved, let your children in on the decision. They can serve in an area about which they're passionate and can explore different venues. When it comes to building a lifelong caring individual, your children will stay more involved in a cause if they feel strongly about it. For instance, if your child is an animal lover, let her use some of her allowance to buy bags of dog and cat food for a local shelter.
One of life's biggest lessons that children can learn from early on is to take care of others. It's the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Opportunities are readily available and can be as simple as aiding a sick neighbor or friend, visiting a local nursing home or helping to care for grandparents and family.
If your children receive an allowance, encourage them donate a small portion to certain causes and begin teaching the value of both money and effort. You can demonstrate your own willingness to give during fundraisers at school, at church or for other community events.
Thanksgiving isn't the only time to celebrate being grateful. Take time out of your busy lives on a regular basis and have your children make lists of what they are grateful for and ways they can show their gratitude. Keep these lists and go over them with your kids looking back on how their priorities change as they grow older can help them become grateful, giving adults.
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