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Show, don’t tell: the best ways to involve your children in giving



  • January 17, 2020
Kelsey Campbell
Kelsey Campbell

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I like to think I’m a generous person. I enjoy helping others whenever I can by giving of my time and resources. But the credit for my habits today should go to my parents and grandparents who showed me how good it feels to give.

Even when it feels like your kids aren’t listening to you, they are always watching you. So, if you want your own children and grandchildren to be generous and give from the heart, show them how instead of just telling them.

Here are a few ways you can teach generosity by example:

Give in church

When I was a little girl visiting my grandmother’s church, she’d always give me a quarter before the service. Then while the offering plates were being passed around, my grandma would put her money in and then hand the plate to me so I could put in my quarter.

She was showing me every Sunday that the gifts we’re given aren’t our own and that God asks us to give what we have.

Let your kids see you tithing, whether you put physical money in the offering plate or  give online through your church’s giving portal. As this sparks question, explain to your kids about why you’re giving a percentage of what you make. And when they’re old enough to earn money through chores or a first job, encourage them to tithe too.

Be a team

Join forces with your kids to make an impact. By picking some projects to do together, you can raise money for the organizations you love — and have fun doing it.

If you’re looking for ways to work generosity into your budget, why not hold a yard sale so you can get rid of unnecessary stuff? It’s the perfect opportunity to get your kids involved, and together you can donate the money you earn.

Go through belongings with your kids, letting them be part of the process of picking out toys they don’t play with anymore or clothes they no longer wear. Show them the items you’re giving up, as well. When they know they can contribute to raising money, they’ll be more eager to engage.

Set up a stand where your kids or grandkids can sell bottled water or lemonade to people visiting the yard sale. Use those proceeds to help people in need.

If you have older kids, maybe host a carwash instead. Ask people to contribute donations, then work together as a family to clean your neighbors’ cars. This is a great way to give back to the community and raise money for a cause you care about.

Your whole family will have fun working together for a common goal — helping people who need it the most.

Inspire a little healthy competition 

When I was growing up, my parents were all about collecting spare change. I’d watch my dad empty his pockets at the end of each day and fill a bowl full of coins. My mom would collect that spare change for different missions projects at our church, and, of course, she’d always encourage my sister and me to get involved.

We’d make our own little banks out of an old Pringles potato chip can. We’d cut a slit in the plastic lid and slip in spare coins and loose bills. We’d do our best to fill our cans until they were heavy and overflowing. Then we’d give the money to our church or to a certain missions project we were excited about.

This is the perfect opportunity to get a little competitive. See which member of the family can raise the most money. You can take part in a penny war or simply try to collect money independently.

Have each person make and decorate a bank, and then see who can fill theirs first with the most money. Whoever wins gets to choose which cause all the donations go toward; you can also offer the winner a special prize.

Make it automatic

Make a commitment to give to people in need every month and show your kids how you plan to build that into your budget. Teaching your kids how to make a budget is a great way to simultaneously teach them about money management and helping others.

Turn it into a game. Write down all of your expenses for the month such as housing, gas, and food, and see if your children can guess how much each item costs. You’ll probably get a laugh out of their answers! Then show them that one of the most important things you’ve included in your budget is giving to help those who have less.

You can make these gifts automatic each month by signing up to become a monthly giver to help where needed most around the world. This will show your kids that you have made giving a priority in your life and that you’ve carefully taken steps to avoid accidentally forgetting or skipping a month. It’s a clear sign to the little eyes watching you that being generous is just as important to you as your cell phone, electricity, or anything else you’ve signed up to be paid for automatically each month.

When you sign up to become a monthly giver through World Help, you’ll be ensuring your family’s contributions are continuously meeting the most vital needs. You’ll be providing food, medicine, and so many other essentials. And every $8 you give is enough to impact one life. So, for just $24 a month, you can help rescue three people monthly — or 36 people a year!

That’s definitely something your family will want to celebrate!

No matter what ways you choose to inspire your kids to lead generous lives, just make sure you’re setting an example. Just like I watched my parents and my grandparents give generously, the kids in your life will learn by watching you, too.

To learn more about giving monthly to help where needed most, click the button below.

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