How To Teach Your Child To Be Charitable (Part 1)

Learning About CharityChristopher has a really good sense of compassion. He always wants to help those he thinks need help, but so far, dad and dad’s side of the family have taught him that this help comes in the form of simply giving money. This seems to resonate with Christopher since he is quite money-focused (I quietly think he’ll be some sort of entrepreneur and make us all rich). He frequently opens his piggy bank to count how much he’s saved already, what he could buy with it, and actually, how much he could give to the poor with it. He even wanted to give his college savings to a poor child in Africa. (That’s when the necessity of teaching how to save became very apparent) He is currently completely wrapped up in making sense of money; so using money as charity makes sense to him. So I decided that it’s time to learn there’s other, and simpler, ways of helping those who need help.

Pick A Charity That Requires Involvement
I thought it would be a great lesson for him to learn that you can help others not only by just giving money, but you also don’t have to go to Africa. There are people right here in our neighborhoods who need help. So I told Christopher about Goodwill, and how they help people with barriers find jobs and receive training that they otherwise wouldn’t have. I explained to him how important it is for an adult to have a job, because otherwise, they can’t live. If you don’t have a job, you can’t buy food, and can’t pay for a house or a car or clothes – or toys (gasp!). So we learned how important it is to be employed. And some people can’t just go to work. I explained how sometimes, essential body parts don’t work right or aren’t there. And sometimes, the brain doesn’t work right and people are blind, or deaf, or much worse.

Teach Your Kids What The Charity Does And How They Help
So those people, we learned yesterday and today, are the people we are going to help. We weren’t going to do that by giving them money. We were going to do that by going shopping at Goodwill and donating our old clothes to them. And by doing so, we would help those people in two ways at once, because Goodwill gets the money from our purchase and the sale of our donations, and they can use it to employ people with barriers and pay them with it.

Learning About Charity

Teach Them The Importance Of Hands-On Work
He thought that was a great idea… until he realized that trying on every single piece of clothing in his closet to see if it still fit was quite a bit of boring work. Well, that’s when we learned that helping others is actually work! Good lesson. Most things aren’t easy. And when you put some work into it (and not just give money), you really appreciate how you help them. You are actually actively helping them.

Learning About Charity

Think we can donate that?

Demonstrate How Helping Pays Off
Unexpectedly, most of Christopher’s clothes still fit. So we decided that we were also going to go through his closet at dad’s house and mom was going to go through her closet as well, so a donation would actually make sense. For today, we were going to do the first part of our helping: We went shopping. Now, remember taking a 7-year old boy clothes-shopping is NOT fun for him (or anyone else for that matter). But we ended up with 4 new pairs of jeans and a Pirates of The Caribbean original Disney World T-Shirt for right around $10. Now, where else other than Goodwill can you get 4 pairs of jeans (and I’m talking Levis and The Gap) AND a Disney T for under $10? Exactly. Learning About Charity

Involve Your Children As Much As Possible
And not only did we just save a lot of money (because the one thing in the closet that no longer fit were jeans), but we also gave $10 to people in need. Christopher even paid himself, to really drive home the lesson and he repeated to the cashier why we shop at Goodwill. Good boy 🙂

Learning About Charity

Reward Them For Helping Others
And because he did so well, I bought him a toy as well – a globe that is. See – helping others selflessly is quite rewarding! Now, do let me say that I don’t think charitable work should or needs to be rewarded; it should be selfless. However, since part of the charity here is buying stuff, I thought it would be quite appropriate. And of course I made sure he realized that the money for this globe supported the cause as well.

Learning About Charity

The next part of our lesson will come next week. I’ll make sure to report on how donating went. How have you taught your children about charity? I’d like to exchange notes, so please leave a comment!


4 thoughts on “How To Teach Your Child To Be Charitable (Part 1)

  1. a person’s networth is defined by how much they give in life
    you do get 2x back what you give so give tx more when you can
    based on multiples of 2, anyone can become a millionaire by giving
    it’s really a matter of figuring out the rules of giving and how the universe gives 2x back

  2. Thank you for your inspiring story. I shop at the Goodwill all tge time. And I have four kids who dont understand the giving and helping part. I plan to focus this summer on how we can help maoe a difference in our community. Thank you.

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