Teaching children to get along, share their things, and be respectful of others are three things that parents across the board have in common. However there are other things that should be taught that are just as important.
We live in a world where people only look out for themselves and unfortunately other’s needs get overlooked; this shouldn’t be. This is when parents should step up and teach their children how to be generous and give generously to others.
Here are a few ways that parents can teach their children how to give of themselves freely and to give generously to those in need.
Volunteering- There is no better place to show a child the desperate needs of those in society than at a homeless shelter. Volunteering their time will give children a glimpse at how impoverished some people are and often through no fault of their own.
Parents can chaperone their children while working at a soup kitchen or a clothing drive for the homeless. This environment will show children how many needs other people have which will give them a better appreciation for what they themselves possess. Time spent with society’s less fortunate will stir within a child compassion and they will be prompted to give generously of their time and attention.
Visitations- The seasoned generations of our society are often overlooked. There are countless elderly residents in assisted living facilities that live out their days alone, having never been visited by their families.
Parents can accompany their children to one of the many nursing home facilities to visit with residents that are lonely and in need of physical companionship. Children will gain an overall spirit of appreciation for their own families and they will see what a positive impact they make by giving freely of their time and attention.
Medical Centers- The majority of children often do not see beyond their own wants and needs. This isn’t to say that they are heartless or selfish; it just means that they may not realize that other children experience things that are more critical in nature.
For this reason, parents can take their children to visit in-patients at their local Children’s Hospital. The children living in these medical facilities are in critical condition and in need of much more than just new clothes or toys.
Children will see firsthand what it looks like to live with an incurable disease such as cancer and they will again not only gain a sense of appreciation for the good health they have but they will also make a difference in the life of a hurting child by giving freely of their time and attention.
Yes parents should continue to teach children to share and yes they should teach children to be appreciative of what they have but they should also teach them how to demonstrate a heart of generosity at a young age. In doing so, parents are raising their children to become kind-hearted, selfless, and generous people in the future.