On the cusp of the season of “getting,” now is the time to encourage kids to get in the giving spirit. Though they are small, there are still so many ways for little ones to give. Kids can give their time to help others, give items to those in need or give the dollars they earn to causes important to them.
In any form, the research on giving is clear: kids gain even more when they give. Children who give to others have a better sense of well-being, more acceptance among peers and even higher academic achievement. They have deeper empathy for the experiences of others and a solid sense of purpose in the greater world around them. Kids who give see how small changes can have big impacts on the lives of others.
But how can parents get their little ones in the giving spirit? It’s actually as easy as one, two, three.
When it comes to raising generous kids, the key to inspiring a lifetime of giving is to start early. From a very young age, children have strong instincts to share and help others. As parents, we need to capture this inherent generosity and sense of fairness and help our kids stretch their giving muscles in small, but meaningful ways. It’s our job to provide kids the opportunities to give, and when they do, the happy feeling they get encourages them to do it again.
Giving is a contagion we actually want to spread. Even one altruistic act can spark real change. When a child or adult gives their time, items or money, it encourages those around them to do the same, in different ways and to different people. The ripple effects of this phenomenon are inspiring. If that small act of giving then ignites a new wave of generosity, meaningful shifts can happen within communities. Little ones can have a big impact, even by starting small.
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