How to help kids learn to love giving?

When it is holiday season, it is the appropriate time to teach your kids the art of giving and helping those in need. Even science shows that kids learn such positive messages quickly and form compassion from a young age. But if your kid is having a hard time learning how to be charitable, here is how you can help:

1. Give reasons. Logic trumps emotion sometimes.

Kids are more likely to accept norms and beliefs if they are backed by some logic. Explain to them the meaning of fortunate and less fortunate. Tell them about how lucky they are to have a home and three meals a day and why they should help those who cannot afford the same. Having conversation with your kid about this will develop a sense of generosity in your child.

2. Help them understand

Even after you have given reasons, explain why it has to be you or them that needs to help. Ever family has their own reasons. The reason may be related to religion, to empathy or just a practice that has been going around since generations. But if your child rejects your reason, help them understand why the act itself can still be followed through without the ideological agreement.

3. Let them see the impact

When you take your kid to an old-age home and let them spend time with the people present there, help your kid recognise the spark in the eyes of the elder. Tell them how happy they have made those people so your kid can see first-hand impact of generous actions. Show your kid the benefit of every good deed.

4. Make it an essence of who they are and not something that they do

Don’t just do charity events and make your kid a part of it. Instead, make the act of giving a part of your kid’s nature. Let your child choose what they wish to do, whom they wish to help and how. Once your kid will make that decision, slowly she will feel committed to the cause. Let philanthropy become an essence of their being.

5. Give them a choice

Even your greatest intentions can fail if your kid feels like it is something they are being forced into. Do not make anything mandatory. Do not drag your kid to things they do not wish to go to. Don’t force them for anything. Subtle coercion is done differently. When your kid sees you doing something, they will have a curiosity too. If you are gentle in your push, rewarding of their action, they will feel better about being philanthropic. Let them volunteer and guide them through it.

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