The generation we are currently raising will be running the world soon, no pressure! It may seem like you have no time, no knowledge or no experience to allow you to talk about charity. It is not that hard, and it will change your life in more ways than you can imagine. It is your responsibility as a parent, a teacher, a carer and as a human being with the simple power and privilege to help those most in need.
The world is already overwhelmed with acts of terror, abuse, disease and poverty. It is unacceptable that so many young people take their own lives, and that things like unsafe water are still killing so many children. Every act of kindness makes the world a better place, every dollar donated to charity and every minute of your time volunteered helps. It is a simple yet hugely powerful thing to become an influence for good.
Together we can inspire Kind Kids! It is such an amazing thing to lead by example and nurture this trait in children. These are some of the ways that you can talk to children about charity and encourage them to gently change the world:
♡ Ask them: “What can you do at school to be more kind?” Write a list of ideas with them around paying attention to others when they seem upset, asking their friends if they are OK, giving compliments. My sweet little 5 year old told me that he always tells the girls that their hair looks nice if they have pigtails! I was beyond proud to hear this when we discussed the power of compliments recently, he has been listening and absorbing!
♡ Talk about their teacher/s and how they can show more love and appreciation. The importance of their teachers can sometimes go unnoticed and this is such a great way for them to practice acts of kindness towards adults. Could they make a thank you card at the end of term, could you make or buy a small gift?
♡ Ask about the way that your school supports charity. Talk to your children about ideas for helping local people in need, do some research online into local charities or services such as Meals on Wheels, Retirement Homes and speak to your school about helping to bring more charitable activity into the community.
♡ Ask your children “How does it make you feel when you do something kind?” Make a list of the positive emotions and feelings and you can even do some drawing together around this in a special kindness or charity scrap book.
♡ Create a Kindness / Charity folder and inspiration board at home. We have a folder with clear sleeves inside and a sketch book that we use to gather information about charities and clippings on the theme of kindness. I try to spend at least an hour a week working on this together.
♡ Talk about how you can show kindness towards your neighbours. We have a lovely older lady in the apartment across from us and I have always encouraged my little man to say hello, check how she is and always hold the door and offer to carry her shopping.
♡ Encourage acts of kindness and charity in your own home, this is where it all begins. How can your children show other family members that they are loved and appreciated? Work together on these ideas and encourage at least one small act of kindness each day.
♡ Write a kindness quote on a light box or chalkboard each week and focus on the meaning of this together, for younger children you can just use words. Recently we had the words love, peace and charity on our light box and this inspired a lot of conversation around their meaning.
♡ Create a list of ways to be kind each Sunday night for the week ahead, do this as a family.
♡ Talk to your children about the causes and needs that are important to them. Do they care about animals, the environment, children in hospital, the elderly, poverty, clean water, overseas aid, refugees, child sponsorship. Everyone has a unique sense of compassion and nurturing this in your children is the most amazing thing as a parent!
♡ Try this conversation starter: If you were given $500 to spend on yourself, and another $500 to give to charity, how would you choose to spend each of these amounts?
I would love to hear any other ideas you have, or the ways that you have been talking to children about charity and kindness xx