Want your kid to be happy? Instead of buying them yet another toy or game, why not get them to give and donate to the needy instead? Based on research that shows that “altruism is a deeply rooted part of human behaviour”, kids appeared happier when they shared a toy with another toddler compared to playing on their own.
To help instil values of compassion and a sense of altruism in kids from a young age, encourage them to be generous and giving to those truly in need. Some local examples include kids who gave migrant workers snacks and gift packs (bought and organised by their parents), and other who started food corners at their HDB void decks for needy families living there. Teaching charity and encouraging volunteerism will reap benefits for your kids’ happiness and sense of wellbeing.
Here are some ways you can encourage your kids to be charitable and give:
Set An Example
As parents, your kids will trust you the most – and you can be the example they learn from. When you expose kids to charitable acts AND explain the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of your actions to them clearly, research has shown that you can inspire them to follow in your footsteps. You can get them to witness and participate in your acts of charity too!
Introducing your children to acts of charity will require you to explain clearly why you are doing it, and why there are people who need help. By understanding how their acts help to improve the lives of others, kids can learn to be more empathetic and relate better to the people they help. By volunteering with you, they can also see first-hand the benefits of their actions and this will encourage further acts of caring and giving.
Small Acts Of Kindness
You can start with simple and small charitable acts that kids can understand easily, within your own family or neighbourhood. Start with donating extra or unwanted items that are still in good condition to nearby charity organisations, or to needy families and neighbours in your area.
You can bring them along when you volunteer at a soup kitchen and get them to help out with small manageable tasks. Or ask them to accompany you during grocery shopping and get them to pick out food items to give away. They can do the same for their classmates by getting school supplies for those who can’t afford them.
Make A Gift
Other small acts of kindness can be as simple as getting your kids to make Get Well cards or helping to make a dish for the local charity bake. Encourage them to make something useful or meaningful for friends, relatives and even families or individuals who will appreciate these small and kind gestures, such as Christmas cards for residents at a centre for the elderly.
There’s nothing more inspiring than volunteering as a family! You can participate as a family unit in charity drives or activities like a charity run. It’s always more fun to do these activities together and it also helps to expose your children to the many other people who are sharing their time and effort to raise funds for the less fortunate. Everyone involved is a part of this community of good! This will help reinforce their own charitable instincts and values.
How do you encourage your kids to do good? Share your thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!