3 Ways to Help Your Kids Give Back on #GivingTuesday

As a young child, I loved Thanksgiving and Christmas. To me, both these holidays meant lots of getting: getting yummy food and getting presents. But over time, my focus shifted from getting to giving.

How can you help your kids learn the importance of giving during this holiday season? Here are a few ideas to help you celebrate the National Day of Giving (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) and teach your kids to give back.

1. Serve in your community.

While there are all sorts of needs around the world, serving close to home is a great place to start! You can use Giving Tuesday’s search website to find local community service opportunities, or you can visit www.justserve.org for more ideas.

Whether it’s serving in your community soup kitchen, helping out with refugees, or volunteering at your local animal shelter, helping out in your community is a great way to teach your kids the importance of giving back.

2. Serve individuals in need.

We often think of large scale service projects when we think of giving back. But sometimes the small acts of kindness can be just as meaningful! Harvard psychologist Richard Weissbourd recommends that parents help their kids expand their circle of concern (1) by teaching them to look around for chances to show gratitude or reach out to a lonely classmate. Doing this will help your kids be more aware of other people’s needs and take the time to meet them.

3. Serve each other.

Sometimes the greatest opportunities for service are in our very own homes! While interacting with siblings and parents, kids have the chance to practice giving every single day.

Dr. Weissbourd explains, “Learning to be caring is like learning to play a sport or an instrument. Daily repetition . . . make caring second nature” (1). Teach them the importance of serving each other, whether it be sharing their toys, speaking kindly, or being willing to help with chores.

Give Back!

This holiday season, take the time to give back, whether it’s serving in your community, reaching out to individuals in need, or creating a culture of service in your home.

 You have the power to help your kids focus more on the giving and less on the getting.


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References

1. Joyce, A. (2014, July 18). Are you raising nice kids? A Harvard psychologist gives 5 ways to raise them to be kind. Retrieved from

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2014/07/18/are-you-raising-nice-kids-a-harvard-psychologist-gives-5-ways-to-raise-them-to-be-kind/?utm_term=.a9d91a07f279

Pictures retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/21825913638, http://www.edwards.af.mil/News/Article/828756/edwards-youth-conquer-the-gift-of-giving-volunteering/, and https://www.flickr.com/photos/three_if_by_bike/3299202652, and

 

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