Asking your kids to part ways with old toys and clothes could easily be one of the most difficult things a parent has to do. Who can blame the kids for refusing to give up their prized possessions when you’re the ones who bought them the toys in the first place?
As parents, we hope to raise our children to be compassionate and be generous towards those who need it most. They say that people are driven by their own selfish intentions, but studies in evolutionary science have demonstrated that there is value of altruism and kindness in picking mates. Time.com pointed out that even young children will often try to be helpful. This just goes to show that charity and social reciprocity are things that everyone, including children, are inclined to.
Starting off small with toy and clothing donations will grow into something bigger in the future. Your child’s commitment to charity will persevere all the way to adulthood, and by then you can only hope they enjoy giving back to the community as much as they did when they were younger. By then, it’d also be good if they looked beyond the their immediate neighborhood and donate to international programs. Even just a small gesture of donating a euro a day to a nonprofit like UnaKids, which provides orphans and kids from single-parent households in war torn countries with education, is enough to demonstrate their humanity and their genuine care for the world.
Of course, at the age of five you don’t expect your children to send their allowances halfway across the world. In fact, it’ll be best for them to begin donating their time rather than money. 13-year-old philanthropist and founder of Archimedes Alliance Julien Leitner explains that the knowledge and understanding of caring for the less fortunate is something that’s going to stick with you for the rest of your life. To do that, it’s imperative that charity is incorporated into the family routine. Volunteering at a local food bank, a children’s shelter, or a nonprofit organization will strengthen your family’s bonds with the community and with each other.
For more ideas of in raising charitable children, Parents.com names nine different strategies that your family can implement while the kids are still young.