Children might not understand the abstract idea of giving money as a way of helping others. To really make an impact on young children, they need to see actions that directly improve the lives of those in need.
“It’s hard for kids to grasp that the money is going to, say, buy bread, which in turn will help feed ten homeless people,” says Deborah Spaide, founder of Kids Care Clubs. “Many children can’t take the process that many steps forward in their minds.”
Kids Care Clubs are a great way to introduce children to the importance of giving. Surrounded by school furniture all day, children may forget the importance of helping.
“Children naturally look for ways to make a contribution and help others,” says Spaide. But just as we give our children opportunities to use their legs when they’re learning to walk, we need to give them opportunities to exercise their charitable muscles so they become really good at giving too.”
Spaide helps parents give their kids the experience of charitable behaviors firsthand. Even young children only in pre-school will be affected by helping their parents bag lunches for soup kitchens, distribute clothes to people in homeless shelters, or help an elderly person to take care of his living quarters or garden.
As your children grow their ability to help also matures. But as parents we are constantly challenged to meet our children’s changing needs. Constantly educating them about new ways to help is a gift to your children that will last a lifetime.