Teaching Generosity This Holiday Season

girl hugging her baby sister near sofa

The holidays are coming and ‘tis the season…for what? In your child’s eyes, the answer is probably fun, treats and gifts. But how can you add generosity to the equation?

Convincing your little one that it’s better to give than to receive is no easy task. Here are a few tips to get your child thinking about the importance of generosity during the holiday season and beyond.

  • Introduce the concept in a fun way. You may be surprised—and impressed—with what your child has to say once you start a discussion. Even young ones mostly understand that generosity is a fundamentally “good” thing. Try using themes from books or movies they love to start a conversation about positive, generous behavior.
  • Make it personal. Financial generosity may be a little abstract for young kids, so help them understand the topic in a context they understand. Sharing toys is a great place to start. (And probably the source of some drama in your household anyway, so why not tackle the issue head on?) Ask your child to think of times when someone didn’t share – how did it make them feel? It’s never too early to help your child develop empathy.

  • Practice what you preach. You are your child’s #1 role model, so show them how you like to be generous in your daily life. It can be little things, like sharing a snack or doing something nice for another family member. Or bigger things, like bringing your child with you to volunteer at the local animal shelter. Be sure to explain that being generous with your time can be just as impactful as being generous with money.
  • Use the holidays to reinforce your lessons. Consider asking your child to pick out a toy to give to someone less fortunate. They can help wrap the gift and drop it off at your local charity. Keeping your child involved every step of the way helps them get excited about helping others, and gives them some extra perspective and gratitude.

Your child may forget about that shiny new toy they got twenty years from now. But lessons learned about generosity will last forever! Teach them now, and they’ll make you proud for years to come.

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Categories: Parenting Tips
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