Having charity is an essential virtue for being a good person.
Parents should always try to instill as many virtues as they can to their children. If you have a child, you know you want to do right by them and help them become kind, upstanding people. Teaching them charity is an excellent step in that direction.
Everyone in the modern world has heard of and/or participated in some form of charity. It’s amazing when people are so willing to help those in need.
What exactly is charity?
You may know abstractly what it is, and you’ll know it in your gut. But the actual meaning of charity is giving help or money voluntarily to those in need or kindness and tolerance by not judging others.
How do you teach your children about charity?
Starting off when a child is very young is developmentally important because it helps cement altruism into the person they’ll become. Simplify the concept into “helping people in need”. If their friend is sad; try to cheer them up. If a teacher needs help cleaning the classroom; help out in any way they can, even if it’s small. Whenever you notice or hear about charitable things they’ve done; complement them! Make sure to encourage the behavior, reward them and let them know that they were very kind or generous.
Don’t forget that this should be an ongoing conversation that you revisit with your child as they get older.
How do you get children involved in charity?
Parents are their children’s first teacher and charity is a learned trait. So it’s important to lead by example. If you do volunteer work, consider bringing your child along so they can get firsthand experience. If a disaster strikes and you donate to relief efforts, ask your child what they might be able to do. Children are so creative; even if the idea isn’t realistic, the effort will help them be more thoughtful about taking altruistic action in the future. Getting up close and personal with giving back helps develop real understanding of how important charity really is. Many charities and nonprofits are happy to arrange tours.
Start them out small with their own charitable acts. Hand out lemonade or water bottles on a hot day to outdoor workers or the homeless. Volunteer with them at an animal rescue; play with the animals, clean up after them, help walk the dogs. If a storm comes through, help clean up the neighborhood. When it starts snowing; offer to shovel neighbors’ walkways and driveways. Before your child gets a new toy, have them donate one to a less fortunate child. By doing this, they can see how good they have it and how fortunate they really are. It will also create the good habits of being generous, giving back, and it helps ensure that they become a charitable adult.
There are amazing charity programs where you “adopt” a child. Giving your child the ability to experience these programs is eye-opening for them. You can sponsor children from around the world for a small monthly fee, which will go towards anything they might need. It could be clothing, medical care, or even just clean drinking water. You’ll get updates about how your “adopted child” is doing and this will let your child really feel the impact of giving to those in need. Specific charities include Child Fund International and the Act of Love charity. These charities are currently offering emergency relief to those in need. The coronavirus relief is sorely needed in places where top-class medical care is unavailable.
A good way to encourage financially charitable giving is to give your child a “charity allowance”. Each month designate part of their allowance to be put toward a charity of their choice. Then get together with them and find out what kinds of causes are important to them. Do research together and find a charity that they want to give to.