Young children naturally think that the world revolves around them. It probably didn’t take you long to notice that your child is focused on what he needs and what is important to him. There’s nothing wrong with this normal reaction, but it’s important to work to instill a spirit of generosity in your children.
Start at Home
Although you would love for your child to make a huge difference in the world someday, remember that learning generosity starts at home. A child who knows how to be generous with her sister or brother will naturally go on to be generous with others.
You can start motivating your child by encouraging generosity around the house. Since generosity includes time as well as money and possessions, encourage your son to surprise your daughter by making her bed. Your children can work together to help with each others’ chores instead of focusing on themselves.
Use Their Interests
Kids naturally get excited about things that are important to them. You can harness this power by letting them use their generosity for causes they understand and can relate to.
If your daughter has always loved animals, work with her to collect pet food or volunteer at the animal shelter. If your teenage son is passionate about sports, help him brainstorm ways that he can reach out to younger players in the community.
Your kids will stay motivated and excited when they are using their effort and resources to help causes that are important to them. Think of how you feel when you donate to an organization that is close to your heart, and pass that enthusiasm along to your children.
Don’t Give Up
Finally, it’s vital not to give up. Teaching generosity to your children isn’t a one time thing. In fact, you’ll continue to work on this as long as they are living under your roof.
At times, you’ll be thrilled when you see your children make generous choices that are unprompted. Other times, you might be a bit discouraged when they pass up opportunities to make a difference.
If you’re feeling that there’s still a lot of work to be done, don’t give up. One of the biggest ways you can make a difference is by modeling generosity in front of our children. Even if you don’t see immediate results, your example will teach them to be generous with their time and resources.