By the time they turn three, most children can understand the needs and feelings of others. This makes it a great time to teach your kids about charity. From a children’s music therapy charity to charities that help animals and veterans, your kids will get older and will soon start asking questions. The earlier they understand the importance of giving and helping others, the better it will be for their development. You never know, if they gain the right leadership qualities they could end up dedicating their lives to good causes in the future, which would be hugely rewarding for them. However, many parents are concerned that enlightening their children to the poverty and sickness in the world could take away their innocence and make them feel unsafe. This means many young kids remain uneducated.
How to Teach Young Kids About Charity
Teaching your kids about charity is more important than ever, given everything that’s happening around the world. What’s more, studies indicate that teaching philanthropy from a young age increases well being, popularity and acceptance among peers, leading to better classroom behavior and higher academic achievement. Here are four ways you can teach young children about charity.
Empathy is the very basis of charitable giving. Teaching your children to care for others is vital if you want to get them involved in charity work. It isn’t as simple as quickly signing a donation form and forgetting all about the reason behind the money. Understanding the true need of the charity is at the heart of donations. After all, love is something most charities need. As with anything else you teach your children, leading by example is the best way to encourage empathy. Demonstrate that giving is rewarding and make sure your kids see you doing it. Drop money into charity boxes, volunteer at events, and take food to a homeless shelter. Each time your children see you donating to charity, it reinforces the importance of giving and provides an opportunity for you to explain why you’re doing it.
Educating your children about our sometimes violent and unfair world doesn’t need to be a daunting prospect. Just make sure to provide a balance. Explain to your kids that while bad things happen, such as natural disasters and terrorism, there are always people doing incredibly brave, selfless work for the victims in need. Show them some of the wonderful charities that work with refugees and terror victims, as well as the families they’ve helped.
Teach Them Not to Be Afraid
The mainstream media would have us believe that there’s always something to be afraid of in the world. This means it’s important to teach your children some perspective. Despite that terrorism has been a threat for decades, a 2015 report showed that more Americans are killed by their own furniture than by terrorists.
The prevalence of cancer in our society also means that your children could have a classmate go through treatment, which can be scary-especially if they see their friend looking visibly sick or experiencing hair loss. To help them process a friend’s illness, you can educate them on the latest research and read some of the inspirational stories of young cancer warriors online.
Get Them Involved
It is easier for children to understand something if they’re directly involved in it. Get your kids to help you volunteer for a local charity or raise money. For example, if there’s a natural disaster on the news, don’t just sit back and consume information. There’s always something you can do-find out what you can do, such as sending clothes, toys or funds. Similarly, if someone you know is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, teach your children to be proactive and caring. They can do so by offering to help them with everyday tasks.