One of our main duties as parents is to make sure we are raising children who contribute positively to the planet. Helping to shape kids into generous people means helping to shape a brighter future for the entire planet, one little mind at a time.
So how to we make sure children feel inspired to give? It’s more obvious than you think, and most importantly, it begins with the adult role-models surrounding them.
Here’s Cubic Frog®’s 5 small steps that make a big difference in raising a generous child.
1. Lead By Example
Before pointing our fingers at our children for acting spoiled, we must first point at ourselves. Children are experts at mimicking what others do, especially their parents. Having a generous child means you must first and foremost be generous yourself.
Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ is an absolute necessity, along with using courteous, calm language in your everyday interactions. And of course, actions always speak louder than words. So make sure you’re sharing on a daily basis and you’ll be amazed to find your kids will do the same. Besides showing generosity to strangers, making direct acts of generosity towards you kids are especially important; offer to help with a task, share food, toys, etc.
The easiest way to understand the concept of leading by example is to envision the exact way you would like your child to show generosity towards others and do the very same yourself.
2. Make Sharing a Game, Literally
Playing multi-player games is a great, fun way to learn sharing. Try playing multi-player mobile, computer, and board games, doing a puzzle together, or do a building or crafting project together. Games that incorporate sharing as part of the rules are great practice for using those skills in everyday, real-life situations.
Sports and other outdoor group activities which incorporate team-work also boost a child’s sense of cooperation. Learning to rely on others to achieve a collective goal is a skill uniquely learned in sports and group activities and is essential in learning to be generous.
There an infinite ways to give back to the planet and all the people on it. Finding a volunteer opportunity that fits your families interests is simple (and just in case, here’s a guide to help). Making time on a regular basis to give to others is a sure way to instill a strong sense of generosity in little ones. And, while donating money to a good cause can be beneficial for an organization, digging in and getting your hands dirty has a way deeper in pact both for the volunteer and the organization.
4. Gratitude Lists
Because gratitude and generosity go hand-in hand; when we are grateful we acknowledge all we have and see that others may not have the same (on both a small and big level). This one may seem obvious, but you’ll be amazed the difference in can make. Make a habit of verbalizing or writing things you are grateful for with your children. You can ask your family to each say one thing they’re grateful for every day at dinner or maybe once a week design a craft in which they make a list of the things they are grateful for that week. Putting gratitude into words makes it become something more concrete and gives examples to children on how they can do the same.
5. Social Experience
Exposing your child to a variety of people, places, and situations gives them to gift of perspective. By seeing the different ways and manners people live, your child will become more self-aware. Having perspective is an important ingredient to children knowing their own privileges and being grateful for them.