If this pandemic has highlighted anything for us a human race, it’s the importance of thinking of others and reaching out a hand to lift up, support, provide or encourage a neighbor, friend or even a stranger at this most desperate of times. We are thinking about each other in terms of how we can all be safe and stay healthy, but there are other ways that we can help our fellow neighbor. This pandemic has impacted some families more significantly than others. Some people have been directly impacted by the virus itself and others have felt the financial impact of the virus by a reduction in hours at work or the loss of a job or uncertainty about how bills will be paid or even eviction. If you find yourself one of the more fortunate people right now and you have been impacted minimally, this is the time to lend a hand. The example that you show your children in how you give, support and donate is one of the ways in which you cultivate a spirit of giving in even the very youngest of children. Your children are watching you!
As parents and educators, we have an obligation to instill in children the importance of thinking beyond themselves and their own families. But how can we do this? Well, one of the first things we teach young children to do is share and this can be the beginning of giving. What kinds of things can we share? We teach children to share their belongings and even their feelings, but we can also teach them to share their time. There are many ways in which families can work with their children to donate their time for the good of others. Involve your child in preparing some of the clothes and shoes that they no longer wear to be given to a child in another family who may need them. Have your child choose the items to be donated, prepare them to be donated and bring them to the charity of your choice. Talking about the act and the importance of it is just as crucial as doing it. When children are directly involved in the giving it is much more meaningful to them and can become a regular part of their year.
There are seasons that tend to make us think of giving more than others, but people are in need all year round, so there are lots of opportunities to teach these valuable lessons to your children. At Newton School for Children classroom teachers try to incorporate the message of giving into their yearly curriculum. As families at our center your children will have the opportunity to participate in the Toys for Tots drive, a food pantry drive and a winter clothing drive. As these events come up, talk with your children about what they mean, how you as a family can get involved, why it is important and how it can make you feel to give selflessly to others.
We hope that you find the article Giving: The Best Gift of All from The Center for Parenting Education helpful. Please click on the link to read the article.