You don’t have to teach a child to say, “Gimme that!” or “I want another one!” Greed comes naturally to all of us. It’s easy to want more than what we have. not to say that Greed is not a new problem because of the rise of technology, but children ages 2-12 see an average of 26,000 advertisements a year. The more your children hear about the latest gadget, comic strip hero, or mouth watering potato chip, the more they will ask you for them.
The benefits of giving money away to others aren’t something kids are going to grasp tomorrow. The journey of raising empathetic kids happens in small steps and over time. Even though your child willingly hands over her/his collected Give jar money, he/she doesn’t entirely understand what actually happens to it when it “disappears”. But with introducing the concept of charitable giving at a young age and enforcing it through adolescence with increasing responsibility can help carry your kids into adulthood with a strong understanding that helping others is the right thing to do.
How can you raise a generous child who is not following the lead of this world’s Greed culture?
Start from the inside Create a culture of giving at home. Show your kids how to give back vs. just talking about it. Actions speak louder than words, so practice what you preach!
Pray for opportunities to serve others so you can model generosity to your children. You might see a single mom who looks overwhelmed at a fast food restaurant and you could pay her bill.
As you model generosity yourself and pray to keep greed at bay in your own life, you will teach your kids to do the same.
Read books about characters that help others. When a child reads and gets engrossed in the struggles of a character in a book, he or she becomes more empathetic and generous to others in real life. In 2010, Bill Gates (the world’s richest man) gave $10 billion (£6 billion) to charity to develop and distribute vaccines for children. It was the largest ever single donation to charity. Financier Warren Buffet (currently the world’s 3rd richest man) donated $30 billion (£18 billion) to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to be used for different charities. He has so far given away 80% of all his money. Both Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have also encouraged other super-rich people to make similar donations, often saying that they do not want their own children to inherit excessive wealth.
Teach your kids more facts about Charity from the book IT DOESN’T GROW ON TREES…Good books can influence our children to be generous to others in extraordinary ways both now and in the future.
The Give Jar. Talking to kids about money and being charitable ourselves isn’t the only way kids can learn about charitable giving.
Make part of your child’s weekly allowance end up in a Give jar – money set aside for the purpose of donating it. And while the Give jar can be baffling at first, especially for very little kids, after a few explanations of the benefits of charitable giving, kids begin to get it and setting aside money to give to others becomes commonplace. Once enough cash has accumulated in the jar –$15 for example – then let your child decide where they want to donate their money.