For some, it might appear as though charity needs to be almost “taught”. However, if you were to take a look at most young children, you’d see that charitable personality traits are something that’s within them all from being born.
They might be small, but they most certainly exist. It might be a 2-year-old providing a comfort teddy for a smaller child when they are upset; but the point we’re trying to make is that charity is embedded within us from birth.
The benefits of this are of course substantial. As well as just being a “better” person, being charitable is something that provides children with that elusive self-esteem boost. We were recently reading an article Tweeted by Nathan Mumme, and the benefits of bringing up a “charitable” child were endless.
Unfortunately, as we grow older, it doesn’t become quite as natural to stick to such principles. They have to be worked at and in a bid to emphasize charity amongst young children, here are some tips to make sure that it stays engrained in their mind.
Split up pocket money
If your child has just started school, there’s a chance that you may have dabbled with the idea of pocket money. This is one of the first steps in giving a child that elusive responsibility – but you can make further advances.
Some experts in the field have suggested splitting pocket money into three parts; one for sharing, one for saving and one for spending. Each element is of course going to help your child in some way, but let’s focus on the sharing element here. It’s here that you can make your child start to think about charity; and the causes they wish to give to. By earmarking a certain amount each month or week, they can start to think who they would like their money to benefit. Such thinking will naturally help them to develop.
Encourage charity whenever it seems naturally possible
The first tip focusses on a set time at the start of each week or month where you can set for “charity time” – if there ever was such a term. However, don’t dismiss the notion of being spontaneous.
In other words, if you walk past a homeless person, you can immediately spark a conversation on how not everyone is as fortunate as your family. You shouldn’t feel obliged to donate at every opportunity, but merely highlighting other people’s situations can enhance their way of thinking and ultimately make them more charitable.
Your children take after you
Finally, let’s not forget arguably the most important piece of advice. This is true regardless of anything, but particularly if you have young children they will take after you.
Clearly, you won’t be reeling off bank statements and highlighting all of the donations you make through the course of a year. Nevertheless, if you can gently highlight some of the acts of kindness that you might have performed, it will allow your child to take note and hopefully copy.