In the midst of the holiday season it’s easy for young preschoolers to get caught up in the pull of getting more, more, more. Children anticipate lots of gifts under the tree and are busily making their Christmas wish lists for Santa. Being excited about gifts is completely normal and a fun part of the holiday celebration, but what if you could start teaching your child about giving to others?
Opening up a child’s heart (and allowance!) to the needs of others is an important part of instilling values of compassion, awareness, and selflessness. Christmas is the perfect opportunity to introduce the importance of giving.
Here are some helpful ways to introduce the idea of giving to your child:
- Show them where you, as a family, are already giving or plan to give. When children see their parents modeling a behavior they are more compelled to follow suit. Explain to them why you chose to give to the different organizations.
- Ask them who or what organization they would like to help. Consider your child’s interests and research opportunities to give within their interests. For example, if your child loves to play soccer, he may be interested in a charity that makes it possible for kids around the world to have their own soccer ball.
- Give from their own money. Young children usually don’t have the ability to give as much as an adult with a full-time job, but that’s okay! If they don’t have their own allowance, encourage them to do chores around the house to raise money to give. This gives the child more ownership of giving, taking it from principle to practice.
There are plenty of options when it comes to giving during the holidays. Think carefully about which one might be best for your family, and about which one might be best to show your child what really matters in life.