The holiday season is upon us and you might be looking for ways to teach your children about giving. Giving Tuesday — the global day of giving — is a great day to start!
The team at Sawyer is always looking for ways to encourage kindness, charity, and compassion from an early age. However, these concepts are sometimes difficult to explain. When speaking with our own children, we’ve found the following tips quite useful.
1. Use examples from everyday life.
Start by talking to your little ones about the items and objects that they use on a daily basis. Let them know that the things that seem necessary to them — such as winter coats or toys — may not be available to every child. Let your little ones ask questions about those who are not as privileged or lucky, and explain how they can be little helpers by sharing what they have with others.
2. Draw comparisons to a time they needed help.
Children feel “need” multiple times a day. Talk to your children about times when they are tired and hungry and ‘need’ something to feel better. Ask them to break down how they feel. Explain that those feelings are often common among less fortunate people.
Try talking about hunger specifically. Express how fortunate your family is to have food to eat when you’re hungry — because some families don’t have access to food all of the time.
3. Help them develop an eye for seeing those in need.
Help your children to become more aware of people who may need assistance. This a great time to lead by example! When you’re out with your child and come across someone in need, let them see how you respond to the person. Teach your children to be compassionate by giving out spare dollar bills, small snacks, and other goods that could make a big difference to someone in need.
Similarly, cultivate the habit of charity in your household. Some quick tips:
- Start a family jar where everyone contributes by adding money — spare change or even a small portion of allowance works. Lead by example and fill it up first. Decide as a family what you will do with the money you save!
- Pick out canned food together for a food drive.
- Have your children organize clothes or toys for a clothing or toy drive.
- Drop off care packages at homeless shelters and let your children come with you.
- Donate proceeds from a bake sale or lemonade stand to a local charity.
Organizations for giving back.
If you’re looking to support some great organizations this Giving Tuesday, we’ve put together a list of ones you can donate to! These are a few of the many global organizations that support the mission of giving back to communities, families, and young children.
Stories that share a message.
Who doesn’t love storytime? Here are just a few of the many stories available that echo messages of kindness, compassion, and giving back for the season.
- Should I Share My Ice Cream (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
- Rufus and Ryan Give Thanks by Kathleen Long Bostrom
- It’s Mine! By Leo Lionni
- The Berenstain Bears Think of Those in Need by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
- The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell
Remember, kindness is contagious! Make sure to tag @hellosawyer in all of your amazing acts of kindness this season in support of #GivingTuesday. We can’t wait to see all of the wonderful ways you and your families give back to the community. From all of your friends at Sawyer, we wish you a wonderful holiday season!