3 Ways to Teach Children About Giving During the Holidays

By: Mollie Shauger | Monday, December 2, 2019 | Child Care and Family

A boy smiles while donating items with his family. Credit: iStock

Teaching children the value of giving can inspire kids to be generous and kind as they grow older. The holidays are a great opportunity to start encouraging children to appreciate what they have in their own lives. As the kids make their holiday wish lists, work in some time to do something for someone else, even if it’s a small act of kindness.

Here are some ways to teach about giving.

1. Set an example

Children will model their behavior after adults. If they see their parents doing charitable deeds, they will ask questions, and it opens up a conversation about the importance of giving. If parents act generously in front of children, they will learn how to give more freely, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.

2. Involve them in giving

During the holidays, involve children in picking out toys to donate or buying a gift for a less fortunate child. The holidays are a great opportunity for children to experience the value of giving to others, and see the rewards of it. Take them to the store and let them pick out gifts for mom or dad, a sibling, friend, or teacher. Help them to think about what gifts would suit which people, and the good feelings that come from choosing a gift that’s perfect for that person.

3. Make it a family affair

Volunteering as a family is another way to make an even bigger impact during the holidays. There are many ways to volunteer, whether it’s through an organization like the YMCA, at church or at school. When children volunteer they see charitable acts first-hand. Making giving more than a one-time act. Families can start a tradition in which they each set aside one of their holiday gifts to give to someone less fortunate, according to GreatSchools.org

Fairview Lake YMCA Camps is a branch of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges. Looking for more ways to give this holiday season? Ask your local branch or child care center about volunteer opportunities, or consider a donation to support YMCA programs.


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