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Smarter Living: Giving back with kids

Posted by on Nov. 26, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 38 Replies

Lately, I find myself reminding Kiddo to say thank you a lot...for compliments on her sweater, for that early Hanukkah present, for so many things. Just one of the bazillion things we teach them, huh? Here's another one...

Bambam111 writes: I want to teach my kids the value of giving back to others. I can write a check or make a donation and talk about it, but that really doesn't make much impact on them. Any ideas on how to give to others with my kids? They aren't old enough to volunteer at a soup kitchen or anything like that.

We try when they are young for them learn to share - their toys, their snacks - with friends and siblings. When they do, they see their friends smile, and they know they've done a "good" thing. But sharing and giving of their time and energy to others that they don't know or perhaps have never met is a tough concept to understand.

But it is a big one. For kids to learn empathy, to realize they can share something and get nothing back in return and still feel pretty awesome inside, is hard to do, but there are a few ways...mainly, making it something they can understand.  Start a conversation about how it would feel if maybe they didn't have a lovey to snuggle with at night or clean socks or toys under the tree...and how they can help you help kids in the world be sure to have those great things too.

Look at organizations like Socks N Undies (which provides what you think - sock and underwear and toiletries for men, women and kids in shelter) or Project Linus that has a cool no-sew template for making a homemade blanket for kids in need and at hospitals.

This time of year, so many toy drives are going on - Toys for Tots are a big one, as is the Coalition for the Homeless. Easy way to have your kids think about another person is to have them pick out toys for others...for folks they never have and never will meet probably. Even better, see if they will spend some of their allowance on this!

How do you get your kids into giving to others?

ŠiStockphoto.com/ DepthofField

by on Nov. 26, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
frndlyfn
by Silver Member on Nov. 26, 2012 at 12:01 AM

DD always gives to salvation army her loose change and even dollar bills.  She will donate her clothing and toys as well to good will.

LifeCafe42
by Nora on Nov. 26, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Great ideas I've been looking for some I hope when DS is older to take him to help once a month to a shelter to volunteer
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bwsmommy
by Platinum Member on Nov. 26, 2012 at 12:30 AM
My oldest 2 are in 4 h and they are doing food drives at the school..
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momofsixangels
by Colleen on Nov. 26, 2012 at 7:53 AM

We donate to the salvation army clothes and things.We help a homeless man and his dog.We also raised $148 this summer for alzheimer's

Karissa_ruiz
by on Nov. 26, 2012 at 8:15 AM
My little one is only 16 months but things like this are stuff I certainly want to do with her when she gets a bit older
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SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Nov. 26, 2012 at 8:17 AM

We did Operation Christmas Child this year. I have friends whose kids pool their money for the Heifer Project, so I might do something like that when he's older.

RobynS
by on Nov. 26, 2012 at 8:40 AM

I've found the best way to get them excited about it is to lead by example. When they see me helping others, they want to do it, too! :)

RobynS
by on Nov. 26, 2012 at 8:41 AM

DS is in Scouts, so he rings the bell for the Salvation Army every year during the holidays! :)

Quoting frndlyfn:

DD always gives to salvation army her loose change and even dollar bills.  She will donate her clothing and toys as well to good will.



MamaBear2cubs
by Nikki on Nov. 26, 2012 at 8:42 AM

We pick toys for Toys For Tots

mrswillie
by CeeCee on Nov. 26, 2012 at 8:42 AM

We give to local food drives. They also donate toys

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