At a time when the motto of many public figures seems to be about “me, me, me,” Powerful Words is combating selfishness through our top-notch member schools and with the help of our Powerful Parents. We all want children to be generous, giving people who think of others– not just themselves! But we need to teach children about being generous early in their lives,; so start today!
We started with Part 1 of our 22 Ways to Instill Generosity in Kids on Monday– here’s the second half– #12 through #22!
Generous Kids: Part 2
(12) Get some follow up. If you can, find out from the charity where the contributions go so that you can explain it to your children. When there is no connection to the charity, it’s hard for children to really feel the magic of giving. Similarly, follow up on the gifts or cards your children gives to the local hospital or seniors so that they know that the people were happy to be on the receiving end of his or her generosity. This is part of making the habit of giving more visceral.
(13) Show that you give too: Whenever you give your time, talent, thanks, or treasures to others, let your children know how good it makes you feel, how it helps others, and why you do it. When they see and hear about you doing it, it will be more natural for them to do it as well. It will simply be “something your family does.”
(14) Make generosity part of your family values: That means give within your family as well as outside of your family. When you ask your children “what kind of family are we?” they should be able to answer with the top 5 values that define your family. Make generosity one of them!
(15) Find out from a local foster care facility about a child who is celebrating a birthday soon. What does s/he want for his birthday? Go to the store with your children and allow them to get the present with you, help you wrap it, and make a special card. Then you and your children can drive it or send it to that child together.
(16) Refrain from giving material rewards for giving generously. It’s counter intuitive to reward a child for giving by giving him or her money or more toys. Generosity should be tied to internal gratification not external motivators.
(17) Talk about what other people need rather than just what the child wants: Notice the people around you and help your children to do the same. When you visit the local hospital, encourage your children to look around and ask them; if you were here, what do you wish you had? Let’s take a look at the books and games they have, what’s missing? When we encourage our children to focus on others, we help them remember that generosity is more important than more gifts for him or herself.
(18 ) Before your child’s birthday or birthday party, ask him or her which toys she can contribute to others. If s/he receives 10 new gifts, are their 10 toys or games from her current stash that she can donate to someone in need?
(19) Nip selfishness in the bud. Many parents reward tantrums by giving toys and treats to their children. This breeds more selfishness.
(20) Reward spontaneous generosity by praising it: Let your children know when you see a great example of generosity among them or their friends. Praise the person who showed the generosity in front of your children as well as privately. Don’t just say “good job.” Say something like; “I’m so proud of the way you shared your toys with Johnny. It made him so happy. What a great friend you are! One thing I know about you is that you are a generous, kind person who likes to share with others.”
(21) After your children have given something—talk about it. How do they feel? Who do they think their old favorite shirt will go to now? How will their old favorite toy feel to be loved by another little boy or girl who will be so happy to have a teddy bear to love? What do they think the lady at the nursing home will say when she opens the card your child made with all the stickers on it?
(22) Each day ask what the family is grateful for and how they showed generosity: This can become part of your routine at dinner time or before bed. Why should you wait for a special holiday to celebrate giving?
Of course, surrounding your children with people who give of themselves, refrain from showing stinginess, and teach children about values is a great way to teach generosity—so those of you who attend a Powerful Words Member school, you are way ahead of the game. Powerful Words Member Schools are concentrating on teaching generosity all month long—talk about inspiring children to give! We can’t wait to hear your stories about the way your children are giving this month and all year ‘round. Congratulations!
Do you have any great ways that you use to teach children generosity? Do you have any great stories about your children giving? Please comment below. We’d really love to hear them—please share!
Have a Powerful Day!