Everyone dreams of their kid to be that stellar, good-at-heart angel who’s going to end world suffering. And if not, at least they dream that their child will grow up to be a genuinely good person at heart. One of the most important values to instill in your child is that value of helping make the world a better place and using their privileges for good. You can do that by leading by example and living an active, volunteer-based life.
Talk to your children about the concept of giving back from a young age, and get them involved in fundraising and volunteering early. You’ll be setting up worthwhile lifelong values that can help your child grow up to be a caring, giving human being.
Teach them about their privileges
If your child has always had a roof over her head, food in her stomach and toys to play with, she may not fully grasp the concept that some people do not have those things. It’s important from a young age to teach them that not everyone is as lucky as she is. Introducing concepts like homelessness, poverty, food insecurity and illness at a relatively young age teaches your child from a young age to appreciate the fact that she is lucky to have parents who can take care of her.
You can introduce your child to these concepts by involving them in efforts of your own to provide aid or give back to the community. Bring her to volunteer events and talk to her about what the efforts are for, who they’re benefitting and why you’re helping them. That will help familiarize her with the concept of helping people in need and making it part of one’s normal responsibilities.
Let them pick a cause they prefer
After you educate your child about the different needs there are in the world and what they can do to help, the next step to get them interested in activism and giving back is allowing them to decide what cause is most interesting to them (spoiler alert: it will probably be animal-related). Once your child picks a charity or cause, talk to them about what they can do themselves to give back. You can organize a family fundraiser, participate in a walk-a-thon or, if your child is old enough, even volunteer with a local organization to provide hands-on assistance.
Letting your child pick their own cause will make them more motivated to participate. Once they experience one cause, they may be interested in exploring another and learning more about volunteering and charity work. It’s most important to make sure they don’t feel like volunteering is a chore being forced upon them - forced charity will likely result in a child who’s resentful of activism and wants to stay out of it.
Learn about giving efficiently
If you want your child to make giving back and helping others a lifelong hobby, you should also teach them about tips to ensure their efforts are helpful. Teach them about approaching charities to ask what they need before donating or helping out. It’s not unusual for charities to be flooded with donations that are unusable or unnecessary, which means it’s important for you to take the step and ask about what’s needed before giving.
Often, charities and organizations, like Davidson Fraese Family Lawyers, will say that the best donation is money. You can teach your child about the significance of fundraising, raising awareness for a cause and reaching out to others for support. Teaching them about the importance of fundraising can also show them the significance of a community and the need for everyone to chip in.
If you want your child to become a charitable person, lead by example. Show them how to get involved in fundraising, donating and volunteering for local organizations and causes. Introduce them to the concept of hardships - in an age-appropriate way - and teach them that they do not have to feel helpless in the face of tragic circumstances. Everyone can make a difference, including your children.