The closer we get to the holidays, the more catalogs I get in the mail. After flipping through page after page of must-have items, my 10-year-old already has a wish list a mile long.
While there’s certainly no harm in looking and she doesn’t expect to actually receive all those things, I think the sheer number of catalogs we get this time of year sends the wrong message. This blatant commercialization of Christmas has overshadowed what should be the real focus of the holiday: Giving back.
But as much as kids like to get stuff, they also really like to give. I truly believe that if given the opportunity, even the most materialistic and spoiled child can learn to appreciate the joy of helping others. And a child who learns to be compassionate and generous at a young age will grow to be a compassionate and generous adult. And we could sure use more of those.
As parents, it’s our job to get them started on that path. And Babble’s Childrens’ Charities – How to Raise Kids Who Give Back and Where to Give is a great place to begin.
Oz Spies has compiled a list of things you can do right now to start preparing your child for a life of philanthropy. And once that seed of giving has been planted, she offers some great ideas on how to get your kids actively involved in giving back – during the holidays and all year long.
Every day, our children are bombarded with messages telling them they should want more, more, more. It’s not always easy to counteract that message, but as parents we owe it to our kids to teach them why and how to give back. Do you have a family tradition of giving that you are passing down to your kids?
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