Teach Value through Volunteerism

volunteer2One of the greatest life lessons to give your child is to teach them their place in the world. A geographic sense of their global spot can be accomplished through travel.

A more significant and less literal lesson- to really understand the value of what they have in relation to others is to embrace the value of volunteerism as a family.

This breaks down too, to not only a great way to learn about kindness, but also about the value of money and the relationship to time. It breeds gratitude not attitude too when it comes to material things.

Start Young

As soon as your kids embark on their first playdate, they are already learning lessons about sharing. They are becoming aware of others, in their own, age-appropriate way.

Later on, as their awareness broadens, it will become less about sharing toys at the playground, and more about helping those in the community that need it.

Sharing is an attitude, best learned early on. Not only are you avoiding raising a spoiled brat, you are more likely to raise a kind child (and adult, later!).

Actions Speak Louder than Words

It’s not enough to tell your kids to roll up their sleeves and help out others. You’ve got to do it too. Volunteer together at your local food bank or community event. Help your child organize a fundraiser with a bake sale or a read-a-thon.

One year, for her birthday party, my daughter elected to receive donations to the Humane Society in lieu of gifts. Not only did this save us from getting a million new things that she didn’t need, it made a really positive impact both on her and her friends. She was proud to have made a difference, and to have been able to see how her effort had a positive effect, when she delivered it in person.

Make it a Habit

If you give your kids allowance, then make it a habit to visually represent a charitable donation. Use jars, labelled for saving, spending and charity. Let them pick their charity, and make sure they understand the value both of the money- and of their gesture.