Children spend most of their days surrounded by classroom furniture, but that does not mean that parents can’t be a huge influence on their children. It is well known that children learn more from the people they look up to and respect than they do from books or lectures.
Simply put, children learn by example. No need for amazing stories of good deeds which were richly rewarded. What will convince your children of the importance of giving is the example you as a parent sets in the realm of charity. Go serve meals at a soup kitchen. Give money to the beggar in the town square. Write a check to a good cause. You can be sure your child will learn much more from these simple acts than from the most amazing stories, lectures or persuasive arguments about the importance of giving.
Talk to your children about why you give and to whom you give. By sharing your values you are sharing yourself, which your children will respect. Some parents are worried about exposing their children to the harsher realities of life- the painful experiences that might be better to shelter children from- it seems that the joy of helping outweighs any negative side effects which might arise from the sad or tragic story surrounding the person or people who are being helped.
One educator who teaches about teaching children about charity notes,
“Kids can handle so much more than we give them credit for.”
Another educator explains that teaching about charity not only brings us closer to the causes that we hold dear, but it also brings us closer to the people we most hold dear: our children.
“We call it trickle-up charity. The effort starts with the kids, but the parents often get the biggest payoff of all.”