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  • Writer's pictureSammie Joseph-Fredericks

6 Ways to Teach Your Children About Giving.

My earliest memory of giving is certainly not a fond one. I remember, like it was yesterday, reluctantly putting money into the plate that went around at church, as my parents watched intently, making sure every penny was deposited as per their instructions. I also remember wondering where that money went. This type of giving went on for years – I had no desire to give and I felt forced into doing so. For most of my adult life, even as a Christian, I was not what you would refer to as a cheerful giver. I gave out of duty and from a place of fear, because the Bible said so. It was not until later in my life that I fully understood the implications, and this changed my mindset and perspective in a radical way. Now, I am happy to give whenever the opportunity arises!

A huge part of teaching children about money is teaching them the importance of giving. The truth about our world is that there are people who have and there are people who do not. Those without depend on the generosity of others to survive.

Here are a few ways to teach children about giving:

Teach them why giving is important. Don’t just require them to give; teach them what it means to give and why it is important. Even small, age-appropriate examples of sharing can help your children understand what it means to be generous.

Model what you want to teach. Let your children see you giving to charity, helping neighbors, or donating items to people in need. Children, it turns out, will learn and imitate behaviors by watching and listening to others. Your children will imitate what you do, good or bad. Show them that giving is something you live, not just something you say.

Teach them different ways to give. There are so many ways to give. Discuss all of them and let your children choose how and what they want to give. Here are some great ideas:

· Serve others (serving meals, or raking leaves for the elderly or sick/shut in)

· Give of their time/talents/skills

· Give new or gently used clothes/toys to kids in need

· Give or raise funds to support an organization of a cause they care about

· Give tithes/offering to your local church.

Provide opportunities for children to give. Introduce ideas and opportunities for your children to give time, money, or donate personal items.

Help them see the impact. A significant finding from studies of adults is that they will derive greater happiness from their generosity—and thus be more motivated to give again—if they’re able to see the impact it has on others.

Praise giving. Point it out and praise acts of generosity. Help them put into words the positive feelings they may have as they help others.

Find ways to get your kids involved in giving. Along with nurturing their empathy and instilling money management skills, they will also learn integrity and social responsibility.

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