Teaching Your Children Charity The Right Way

Teaching Kids About Charity the Right Way

Trust Your Children

As adults, we often don’t give kids enough credit. Yes, they’re young – but many are also very capable indeed. Give them a nominal but sizeable sum – say $50 or $100 – and let them decide where they want to put it to use.

You’ll be surprised by the creative solutions they’ll come up with. In many cases, they’ll trump anything you could have thought of. To give the exercise that extra ‘oomph’ factor, have your children accompany the donation with a letter that explains why they’ve chosen to donate to that particular charity or cause.

It’s Not All In the Money

Charity and doing good doesn’t just revolve around money. Sometimes all it takes is a little elbow grease and creative thinking. For example, have your kids help lobby for funding of school meals for low-income students, volunteer at your local food pantry, help an elderly neighbor with chores, and the list goes on and on.

Fighting for Worthy Causes

Writing letters to elected officials, talking to parents, and setting up meetings with school officials can take their cause further than any donation. Not only that, your children will learn to truly get stuck in and involved in a worthy cause.

Donation and Fun?

Donating might not be the activity your kids will enjoy, and charities understand that. The Mater foundation formed a charitable lottery to fight cancer; the lottery gives you a chance to win something substantial, a house, or a car. The proceeds of the lottery go to a charitable cause, so it’s a win-win scenario.

Giving Blood

Donating blood is another important thing children can be taught to do without requiring the almighty dollar. Next time you go to the blood bank, take your children with you.

Explain why you’ve chosen to get involved in giving blood and why it’s so important. This will etch the thought into their minds and they’ll remember it when they have to make the choice later in life.

Let Birthdays Be About Others

Birthdays can be quite a nasty experience – children often compete for the latest toys and are spoiled rotten by parents. It drives the ‘me, myself and I’ attitude that really doesn’t bode well for adulthood.

Turn your child’s next birthday upside down and make it be about others instead. Organize a birthday party where kids bring presents for those down on their luck. These can then be collected and given to a local charity of your child’s choosing.

Pets Are Important Too

Charity is more than just giving to your fellow human being. Don’t let your children forget that animals are important as well. For example, next time you’re thinking about doing a good deed take dog or cat food to the nearest humane society or walk an elderly neighbors dog.

Talk To Your Kids

Don’t just limit verbal exchanges to telling your kids off or ordering them to do their chores or homework. Instead, try and involve them in an actual conversation – showing them a semblance of esteem can skyrocket their confidence and they’ll actually listen to what you’re saying.

According to research by the United Nations Foundation and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, talking to your kids about charity increases their propensity to give by around 20%. Staggering to think of the difference of a conversation, isn’t it?

Conversation is important as your kids might do all the motions that are necessary to help others, but they might not understand why they are doing what they are doing. That is why you also need to come up with a way to show them as much of the “finished product” as is possible.

All of these experiences will help your child into understanding that there’s more than ‘me’, that charity is an essential part of who they want to be. Remember, it’s not just about setting a good example but also about getting them involved. You won’t believe the results!

What types of charity events have your children been involved with in the past or plan on participating in the future? 


2 responses to “Teaching Kids About Charity the Right Way”

  1. Camesha Avatar

    I’m loving all of these suggestions! Such important lessons. The older my kids get, the more important it is to let them know how important it is to be charitable. Especially because little kids tend to think the world revolves around them. 🙂

    1. Christy Avatar

      I agree Camesha, kids today feel entitled to things. My daughter has volunteered at the food pantry, she loves it and asks to do it whenever possible. I am glad that she enjoys it and I want to encourage her to continue helping others.