As parents, we want to train our children to be lifelong givers. Not only will it impact many lives, but it will give them so much blessing and fulfillment in return.
Here are five ways we’re seeking to teach our children to be givers:
1. Model It
More is caught than taught when we’re raising children. We can tell our kids how important giving is. We can read them stories of people who give generously. We can stress how much of a difference we can make in the world. But our actions will always speak louder than words.
Let your children see you giving generously — whether that’s opening your home up to those in need, serving in a local soup kitchen, going on a missions trip, giving to a charity near and dear to your heart, or sacrificing time and effort to help someone who is struggling.
We involve our children in much of our giving. We collect money as a family to give to causes we believe in. We often have them right next to us when we’re reaching out and serving those who are struggling. We write letters to our Compassion children. In the big and little things, we want to model a life of giving for our children.
2. Teach It
While modelling giving in front of your children is the highest priority, it’s also imperative to teach them why we give. Don’t expect them to just pick up on it all on their own. It’s important to help them understand the why behind the what.
We’ve sat our children down from a young age and explained to them the reasons behind why we’ve chosen to stay out of debt, to live simply, and to not use credit cards. It’s not just so that we can be in a better financial situation, but so we can be in a position to give generously.
As opportunities arise while we’re living life, we continue to talk with them about how blessed we are when we give. When they participate in a giving project with us, we talk with them about how it makes them feel, about what an impact they are making, and how we want to continue to live simply so we can give generously.
3. Simplify It
Giving doesn’t have to be big and elaborate. It’s often the simple things that can make a big difference.
Look for opportunities that might seem small, but that are perfect for a young child to be apart of. We love Operation Christmas Child for this reason. It’s something that the whole family can be involved and a project that our children get really excited about.
We also encourage our children to earn money by jobs around the house and then to use some of that money for giving projects. Last year’s family giving project was spear-headed by the girls. And they’ve decided to do the same this year and have been working hard to fill the money box with cash they’ve earned from chores.
As often as is possible, give your children little opportunities to serve and give. Develop the habit looking for ways to bless others from a young age. A life of giving is borne out of practicing the attitude of serving again and again until it becomes your natural response.
Have them help you around the house. Encourage them to do things to bless their grandparents or elderly neighbors. Give them chances to give up what they’d like to do or have in order to help or bless someone else.
5. Celebrate It
Giving is so much more fun when you celebrate it! Find the joy and excitement that comes from giving anonymously.
Give lavishly of yourself for others and you’ll be so blessed in return (Need some encouragement in this? Go get yourself a copy of Love Does by Bob Goff.)
And most of all, praise your children when you see them being givers. Celebrate their giving spirit and it will only inspire them to give more generously in the future!
This post was underwritten by Shultz Photography School. Their mission is to teach moms & dads the secrets of professional photography. Why? Because the images you take of your kids, as they do ‘actual life,’ are the photos that matter most. Hands down. They will tell your family story and shape your legacy. Shultz Photo School is a step by step, web-based class that’s self-paced and custom-fit for busy parents.