How do you teach your children that it’s good to GIVE as well as receive?
I love nothing more than to spoil my children; I have done it since the moment they were born because it gives me great pleasure to see the delight on their faces when I present them with a shiny new toy, a pretty dress, a surprise bag of sweets or even something as simple as a new toothbrush (yes my children get deliriously excited over a new toothbrush!!).
On the flip side, though, I think it is just as important to teach my children the value of them giving to others, so I will often suggest to them that they might like to make a special card or craft project for someone who has been feeling unwell or ‘just because’ so that they get to see the joy on someone else’s face when they are given something. I’m pleased to say that my children are all just as good at giving as they are receiving. Curly has always been big on drawing; he has a fantastic imagination and can draw some pretty mean ghosts and ghouls, so I have several drawings tucked away in a folder of the cards, posters and letters that Curly has given to me over the years.
Little Bean is a crafter like me; she loves to make things and will put her thinking cap on when she wants to cheer someone up. Beanie Boy is very giving when it comes to his treats; if he has been given a bag of sweets, he will happily share the whole bag with you, even offering his last sweet, say “it’s ok, Mummy, I don’t mind” but I can never bring myself to take that last sweet. As for Jelly Bean, he has a way to go, but already he is giving heaps of joy with his big smiles and overly wet kisses!!!
Giving is an easy task, and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny. These are my eight tips on how to GIVE;
1. Ask children to help with age-appropriate household chores. I found this chart online with some great ideas, but there are many different ones available if you do a google search.
2. Give the gift of time to your child’s school or club by volunteering your help; parent helper in Reception class, Committee Member, helping out with fundraising or supervising at school events and social functions.
3. Childcare rota; it’s not always easy to find a babysitter to get a night off, so why not form a babysitting circle with other friends who have children? You babysit for their child and in return, they will sit for you.
4. Chef’s night off; choose one night a week when the children are in charge of the family meal. Even if it’s just beans on toast, it’s a night off or you could end up with a Junior Masterchef on your hands.
5. Save up old boxes and cartons, and take them to your local school or playgroup, where they can be used for junk modelling.
6. Before Birthdays or Christmas, encourage your children to sort through their toys and select 5 toys each to donate to charity, so they learn about others less fortunate than themselves.
7. Choose a local charity as a family and think of activities you can do to raise money and/or awareness for one month/year. By choosing a local charity, you can be sure that your donations will go directly to people in need in your community. Additionally, you can get involved in volunteering and other activities to help those in need. This will help your children understand the sanctity of human life and the importance of helping others.
8. Dedicate special time to your children, e.g. family film night. All too often, we get so wrapped up in our busy lives that we forget to just kick back and relax with our children. One night a week, set aside a special time when you switch off all phones/computers etc and come together as a family to watch a film, play games or go out for a walk.
DISCLAIMER: I have written this post as part of my role as a sponsored ambassador for the Actimel Family Wellbeing Index. You can find my tips and more on their website. All words, images and opinions are my own and may not be copied without my permission. I have not been instructed what to write.