Every parent wants to set their children up for success as they get older. But, keeping track of every little thing you want them to be able to do as they grow up is difficult (and sometimes a little too much). It’s usually a good idea to instill good principles in them early on. This way, when your child meets new challenges, they’ll have a strong foundation for how to handle them. Generosity is one of these key foundation points. Here are some ways to teach your child about generosity and kindness so they grow up with that as their baseline.
Be a Role Model
It’s no secret that children mimic what they see adults doing, their parents most of all. This is why it’s always important to be aware of how you act around them. If you want to teach your child about being kind and generous, you need to exhibit those qualities yourself first. Practice being kind and generous in front of your child, and make sure that you explain why you’re acting this way and why you feel it’s important to do so.
Give Them Options for Their Generosity
Getting your children to give back isn’t always easy, especially if they’re in that phase where they believe everything belongs to them, otherwise known as the “mine” phase. Forcing generosity from your children will only make them dislike the concept because they will see it as something you force them to do. Instead, make generosity more fun for your kids and give them options. If they’d prefer to be generous through volunteering rather than donating, that’s just fine.
Tell Them How Important Small Gestures Are
Slightly older children, especially tweens or young teenagers, might not feel like they can make a real difference in other people’s lives and wonder what the point of it all is. This is normal, and it doesn’t mean your child isn’t a kind or generous person. Impress upon them how important it is for everyone to do their part, no matter how small it may seem in the moment. Teach them that when many people practice small acts of kindness, it can have a real positive impact on the planet and the people who live on it.
Don’t Focus on the Praise
Of course, you should let your children know that you are proud of them for their kindness and generosity. However, make your younger children aware that they may not always receive praise or even thanks for their generosity. The more you can emphasize that generosity isn’t about what you get out of it, the more your children will come to understand that it’s about personal satisfaction in knowing you’re doing the right thing.