Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Open Discussion

How to Encourage Your Kids to Be More Charitable

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

They say that charity begins at home. That’s certainly true when you have kids. Children follow your example even if they love to fight you on it every step of the way. But they still do follow, so when you’re charitable as a family, they’re likely to grow up with similar values too. Indeed, a ground-breaking study by Indiana University found a significant correlation between charitable parents and their full-grown offspring.


Here are some ways to encourage your children to be more charitably-minded.

Charitable Cashback

Schemes like Giving Assistant make it easy to give to charity. Online shopping can be run through their system, which has negotiated cashback offers from many different online websites. Fill your shopping basket and make a purchase, then the cashback that the online site has agreed to give goes to the charity directly. Through organisations like Giving Assistance, around five percent is donated easily and painlessly. Both the internet savvy setup and ease of use will appeal to teenagers especially, who are now used to buying everything online.

Tithing at Church

For parents who attend a local church with their children, the act of tithing 10 percent of their income is a good way to support religious endeavours. Many churches organise missions to other counties with communities in need, to build pre-fab houses and help with other worthy ventures that feel good to support. Beyond that, churches need a lot of upkeep with regular repairs and maintenance required on these older building structures.

Church services provide solace to people in the community who aren’t doing so well and give them the courage to push through to better times. Children can learn a lot about responsibility when explaining why it’s important to support local causes in your community.

Charitable Jar

A charitable jar can be placed in the kitchen or living room. Whether collecting spare change, pound coins or notes, it doesn’t matter. The idea is to act collectively as a family to put together some money that can be donated to charity. The best time to do this is at Christmas. Each member of the family can add a charity to the list and the one with the most votes receives the donation. When there’s no outright winner, the donation is divided up based on the number of votes.

Disaster Relief

A focus on disaster relief with organisations like Oxfam, the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders is healthy for children because they can follow along with news updates. During most disaster relief efforts, organisations like Oxfam have regular updates posted about their truck conveys and the progress they’re making to reach stricken people. The organisation provides drinking water, basic food supplies, cooking facilities, latrines and other facilities for people who’ve lost their homes due to a natural disaster. This is something that kids can understand on an emotional level, especially when they see photos of children and parents in the affected areas.

There are many ways to get children involved with charitable efforts. Raising money for good causes through sponsored runs and sporting activities is very effective. So long as children make the emotional connection between real people in need and how small donations can prove helpful, this is a message that gets deeply ingrained for later life.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.