This conversation about teaching kids about giving to others has been brought to you today by GiveForward in honor of #givingTuesday. All opinions are my own.
GiveForward is an online fundraising and donation website, and the easiest way to raise money for a loved one in need. We are the #1 platform to start a medical fundraiser and the only site with fundraising coaches who provide fundraising ideas and guidance on how to raise money online.”
Before we even had kids, Michael and I developed a family mission statement. We worked really hard on it and knew it was important to our family. We wanted to raise our children with intention and knew that there were core values our adult children needed to develop when they were still little ones.
Our family mission statement:
To raise empathetic, self sufficient, open minded tiny humans who love the world and their neighbors as themselves. To be a family that celebrates diversity, works, plays, and rests hard together, and welcomes adventure.”
Our kids started learning about loving their neighbors as themselves before they could walk. Honestly, it is one of my favorite core values to model and encourage in my family. For our family, giving means more than just money. We also give our time, talent, and resources.
10 Ways To Teach Kids About Giving To Others
1. Talk about giving and why it is important to your family. There are really easy ways to weave these conversations into normal life. I find myself telling Malone that if we see someone who needs our help, we need to offer it quickly and without hesitation. This translates to a little boy who is constantly on the lookout for ways to be a helper in our day to day.
2. Look for opportunities in the everyday. This is one of the easiest ways to get kids involved in giving. It can be simple things like holding the door open for a stranger, giving a few dollars to a homeless person on the street (or better yet, a hot meal), or bringing popsicles to the gas and electric guys working on your street on a hot day. I’ve written in the past about how I don’t know any other way to teach my son about how to serve others, other than do to do it myself and include him.
3. Model service yourself. When Malone was three, he dropped and cracked the screen on our iPad. Mike took it upon himself to learn how to fix the shattered screen himself, instead of paying for the repair. Since then, he has voluntarily fixed the broken iPhone screens (a very similar process) of several members of our church and friends. Our kids see daddy working on our friend’s phones and it opens up a conversation about giving our time and talent to serve our friends.
4. Say “yes” to their ideas about giving to others. Recently, one of the little girls in our life group (small group) at church lost her lovie- a monkey. Malone has his own lovie, a stuffed cat named Puba and we were talking about what happened to Jilly’s monkey. I was reinforcing our family rule that Puba can come with us on adventures, but he must must MUST stay in the car and wait for us when we’re out and about. Without hesitating, Malone told me that he’d like to buy Jilly a new monkey friend. It wasn’t on my radar to gift her with it, but he knew how sad she must be feeling and wanted to help.
[Tweet “Teach kids about giving to others by saying yes to their ideas + 9 other ways to get them involved. “]
5. Praise and encourage them when they look beyond themselves and give. The more positive reinforcement a kid gets for something, the more likely he or she is to want to do it again. At some point, we’ll have to teach Malone (and baby Lola too) that not every good deed or giving needs praise. But, while they are still so little a little cheering goes a long way. I often feel like a fool when I do it, but I still do it.
6. Let them know about needs within your community and suggest ways to help.
GiveForward is a great way to raise funds for those in our community for medial bills, vet bills, funeral expenses, for those who lost their world in a fire, or medical bankruptcy. Getting started takes just a few steps and they’ve got an entire team of mentors to help you.
- Tell your loved one’s story (with their permission).
- Upload a photo and set your goal.
- Submit and start sharing!
7. Volunteer together. Malone has to be six before we can really start doing this (our favorite charity’s rules, not ours). I can’t wait to serve along side with him!
8. Invite them into your decisions about where the money in your charity budget goes. We recently started supporting a child through Compassion International. Malone was very involved in the process and ended up choosing the child we’re sending support to. He’s invested in it and has already sent off a few letters. In a few weeks, he and I are walking/running a 5k together that will raise money for victims of domestic violence and their children in our community. This will be our fourth year doing the race.
9. Be a cheerful giver yourself. This one doesn’t really need much explanation does it? We have banned the phrase “we can’t afford to give xzy” in our house. Instead, if our charity budget is already dry for the month, we find other ways to help.
10. Kindness isn’t random. It is intentional. Practice intentional kindness everyday. (If you’re looking for ideas of kindness, here are 31 Intentional Acts Of Kindness).
How do you involve your kids in giving? I’d love to hear more in the comments below.
I love the heart of this post and your family’s mission statement. What a wonderful idea. We participate with our children in Operation Christmas Child and the Advent Conspiracy. You can read about the way we do it in my posts 7 Tips for Keeping Christ in Christmas and Christmas in July, if you are interested. Thank you so much for sharing this. I think it is so important to not only give generously to those in need, but to teach our children to do the same. Talking to them from a young age makes it very natural for them. Blessings to you and yours.
Heather @ My Overflowing Cup recently posted..7 Tips for Keeping Christ in Christmas
I love that you created a mission statement before you even have kids and it’s a very well thought out mission statement. I try to involve my kids in a lot of different ways of giving back to others. We are participating in Operation Christmas Child this year, so they will get to see many new toys raised for kids who wouldn’t otherwise get any. They love it!
Jenny @ MyLittleMe recently posted..Classic Playdough Recipe – Homemade Playdough Fun!
What a wonderful family mission statement you have. It is so important to teach children the core values as from young ages. That was so sweet from Malone that he wanted to buy Jilly a new friend. I also love the idea of involving your children in the decision of where the charity budget goes, makes them very responsible. I checked out the site from GiveForward and I love the idea. Most of the items there are about medical bills or funeral memorials, such a great idea to help those people out.
Freya recently posted..EBC Trek Day 9: Dingboche to Lobuche
Don’t laugh, this is the first time I’ve heard about #GiveTuesday. I have a few lessons I’m going to teach the boychild when he gets home.
Raijean recently posted..#PowerTheHolidays with Duracell Batteries
Fabulous list! We love to model giving to our children and getting them involved is so easy. They are so willing at this age to be generous. Great idea to let them suggest their own ideas for giving.
I am a VERY giving person and am always giving things to people. My kids see that and they just follow suit. I love that they enjoy giving to others too!
Shop with Me Mama (Kim) recently posted..#VitabathHoliday Limited Edition Fragrances Bundle (Giveaway) #giftguide
This is so important. You need to teach them young!
My children love being able to participate in donation drives, whether they be at their school or within our community. I’m happy to purchase pajamas or books (or whatever it is that is being collected), but I think it’s important to have a conversation about the children about what they can do themselves. Giving back doesn’t just mean giving money. Children are eager helpers and can most certainly give of themselves in that way.
Penelope recently posted..Wishes Are Coming True From @CapitalOne – Share YOUR #WishForOthers In Your City On Giving Tuesday!
These are fantastic ideas! I’m always looking for life lessons like this. I love the popsicle idea.
Jennifer H recently posted..Big Hero 6 Party Printables
I hope we are instilling the desire to give within our two boys. Sawyer is 4, and is beginning to understand why we do Operation Christmas Child’s shoeboxes each year. I plan to keep him and his baby brother involved whenever we volunteer or give back to others.
You should definitely volunteer together as a family. It makes it much more fun too!
Liz Mays recently posted..3 Great Cameras with Built-in WiFi available at Best Buy
These are great, workable tips! My daughter is only 18 months old, but I’m excited about taking her out to volunteer when she gets a little older. Growing up, I was required through my school to complete a considerable amount of volunteer hours each semester, and I loved visiting nursing homes, the soup kitchen, and the food bank. Doing that really makes you realize how much you have, doesn’t it?
Natalie recently posted..The Flowering Bridge of Lake Lure
I agree that it is important to teach our children to give. I am always trying to instill in my boys that they will receive a better feeling if they give than if they were to receive something.
Giveaways 4 Mom recently posted..#Hinting Season is in Full Affect @BestBuy â Do One of These #CamerasatBestBuy Make Your List
Just love this topic. Such an important thing in a persons life and starting early is important. We actually were surprised how giving our sno was without any real coaxing with his friends and family. We are so blessed. Thank you for sharing.
Digna D. recently posted..Papa Rellenas – Stuffed Potato Recipe
I LOVE your mission statement!! And those tips are spot-on!
What a wonderful gift to share with our children–the knowledge that they can contribute something to the world. Too often we think of giving and only consider the monetary gifts we can provide. However, giving of our time & additional resources (knowledge or experience, for example) is just as important.
Crystal recently posted..3 Ways Coins Can Work for You
I love that Malone wanted to buy Jilli a monkey! and I love your family mission!we are big on giving as well. I grew up with parents who modeled that beautifully. my husband and I have been volunteering on our local ski patrol for 25 years. My daughters now volunteer with a charity I serve regularly and I love when they are there with me giving of themselves and understanding how much they receive in return.
I love your mission statement. It’s beautiful.
These tips are great, for even littler kids who are just beginning to be able to wrap their heads around the concept of giving, and paying it forward. We work consistently on instilling in our kids, a sense of compassion and living with a giving spirit.
Audrey at Barking Mad! recently posted..Eight Tips for a Great Ski or Snowboard Season
#4 is SO important! I know when I see them come up with an idea – no matter how crazy or difficult it might be – letting them do it creates so much pride and ownership. It really makes a huge difference. I always try as hard as I can to say yes when they have ideas.
I love the idea. I always tell my kids to give back whenever they receive a blessing. It’s a great help when letting your children go for a Sunday school. It really helps. Thank you so much for the advice. Such a cute kid you have.
Manu Kalia recently posted..Knee Arthritis Treatment Self Traction
Everyone can give in some way or another. Learning to give young builds great character.
Robin Gagnon recently posted..Holiday Shopping at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods: The Blogger Challenge
Can I say how sweet your son is? He’s very clearly learning by example!
Emily recently posted..Health Benefits of Wheat Grass + Gingerbread Smoothie Recipe
teaching a kid is the most difficult task a mother ever has and the most important too. I never say no to the kids but suggest them more productive ideas. And do all this kind of stuff with kids. very informative post. Thank you so much
Miss Tipsy recently posted..Magical Herb-Turmeric
I back d to say your post inspired me to write one of my own for Giving Tuesday. I love the concept and love the idea of sharing time and resources whenever possible.
Margarita Ibbott recently posted..Giving Tuesday Teaching your Kids To Volunteer & Donate with the We365 App #WeDay
I love how you are teaching your kids to give back at an early age. Many of my students (even the middle school kids) have to be often guilt-tripped into thinking about other people, which I think overall affects their experience as humans. Great tips!
Melissa Williams recently posted..Changes To My Daily Routine that Saved My Face
[…] Teaching Kids About Giving to Others – A Cookie for Dinner has a great resource on giving for you! […]