We want our children to become many things as they grow. We want them to be smart, kind, healthy, and passionate about the things they love. Most importantly, we want them to make a difference in the world around them. We teach them strength and character and hope they will make the world a better place.
One of the best ways we can influence this growth in our children is by teaching them to be generous givers. Teaching children to be compassionate to others and share their good fortune with the community is one of the most remarkable signs of well-developed character. However, putting this into practice can be difficult in a world that often seems to lean into selfish desires.
The Value of Generous Giving
While the world often appears selfish, there is always room for generous giving in a person’s life. There are so many valuable life lessons learned when children give generously. Some of the benefits of teaching your child to give are:
- They will find friends wherever they go. Selflessness is necessary to cultivate fruitful relationships and maintain a close-knit circle.
- They will stand out in the workplace. Employers notice people who are generous with their work and time.
- They will gain an unshakeable sense of meaning in their life. Being generous and caring for others instills hope and purpose into every child.
Mankind has understood the value of generous giving for centuries. In the Bible, we are reminded that those who are generous enrich their lives, while those who covet possessions will suffer because of it.
“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” – Proverbs 11:24-25
Generous giving is one of the best ways to connect to your community and see the power your actions have to make a change in the world. Teaching your children this lesson early on will empower them throughout their lives.
Learn more about honoring God with your possessions and what the Bible says about money management.
Where You Give and Why You Give Are Important
It’s vital for children to learn when and where to give. Self-sufficiency is also essential, so you should remind them that it is okay to say no when they don’t have room to give. This will help them learn to set boundaries and only give freely from their heart, rather than from guilt or a sense of obligation.
One of the best ways to teach this is to practice the same in your daily life. For example, while you may choose to give to select charities during the holidays, you don’t say yes to every person who needs a favor or asks for a donation. Modeling this helps your child understand that it’s okay to say no, but they should still seek out meaningful opportunities.
Ways to Teach Generosity as a Value
So, you understand the importance of teaching your children to give, but how do you do it? From family volunteer work to church programs that encourage community involvement, there are many ways to teach your child the importance of giving time and resources to impactful causes.
Show by example.
Anything that is normalized in your house growing up will become part of your child’s lifestyle as they age. Just as you can teach your children to be kind, eat healthily, and work hard, you can teach them to be generous. Showing compassion and enthusiasm when giving your time and resources to those in need will teach them the joy that giving offers. When giving is a normal part of a child’s routine, the value of it will be instilled into them for the rest of their lives.
Give them money or items designated to doing something kind for others.
One of the best ways to teach the value of generous giving to your children is to let them experience it for themselves. When they are able to give a few dollars to a local charity or donate toys to other kids during Christmastime, they experience the joy and thanks received from generous giving. This is an incredibly powerful experience that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
Find places to volunteer and generously give your time.
Make volunteer work a normal part of family life. Show them that giving can be fun and rewarding. For example, take your kids to volunteer at a local animal shelter, church event, or other projects. They’ll quickly learn the value of doing good and giving their time freely!
Have them research a problem in the world and find solutions you can enact at home.
Children are eager learners and want to be involved in changing their world. Give them the opportunity to make a difference by researching a problem they see in the community and making a change in your household for the better. You could let them help you reduce waste by learning to recycle or find a local charity to donate clothes and toys they no longer need.
Encourage them to become involved in school or church volunteer programs.
Kids have much more fun when they socialize with their friends. By encouraging them to participate in volunteer church or school programs, they’ll be able to spend their social time making a difference in the local community.
Financial generosity is just one part of teaching children the value of giving from a young age. OneAscent encourages families to get involved in charitable giving and values-based investing early, so they see the power of their wealth for decades.