Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 Views: 3623

Getting Kids into Giving Back

Kids volunteer

What makes you want to give back? How can you actively work to raise generous children who find donating time to charity not just responsible but also fun? Check out these tips!

On the CBS Saturday Early Show, clinical psychologist Dr. Paul Donahue offered a few tips for raising a generous and compassionate child who loves to give:

  • Teach giving, not taking, at home by encouraging kids to help out in the kitchen. Even young kids can make a real contribution to the family meal.
  •  Make sure older kids help their siblings. This collaboration – teaching them sports, reading to them, or helping with homework – creates a sense of everyone being in it together.
  • Teach kids about respect and caring by being a model yourself. Your kids take cues from you.
  • To teach kids about contributing to the community, go beyond donations of food or clothing and perform giving acts, like helping an elderly neighbor with household tasks.

Colleen O’Donnell, the author of Generous Kids, tells parents these tips:

  • Start teaching children to give as early as possible. As she explained to Washington Magazine, you don’t wait until your kids are seven years old to teach them to brush their teeth, so why would the habit of giving be any different?
  • Praise your child’s giving habits! Recognition for helping around the house, sharing a toy, or listening to a friend can impress upon kids how important these seemingly little things are.

Dr. Madye Henson, the President and CEO of HandsOn Greater DC Cares advises:

  • Make giving a family affair. If you decide as a family where to get involved and what to do, involving kids in planning and research, they will feel much more invested in the activity.
  • Make sure that your kids know why you want to make a difference and how what they’re doing will accomplish that.

Tell us! What did your family do to encourage generosity in youngsters? What do you do with your children to engage them in the community?