Charity: Life’s Clarity
by Khushi Mohunta
Charity and donation are deeply rooted in developing a sense of greater respect for others, leadership skills, and an understanding of citizenship that can carry over into adulthood. Charity is the rite of transition that marks one’s transformation from a self-centered to a selfless individual. As one of the distinguishing characteristics that distinguish humanity from animality, parents should instil the art of charity in their children from an early age. If you are stuck at this stage of parenting and are looking for ideas and creative ways to teach your child about charity and donation, do not worry; we have you covered. Here is a list of five ways you can adopt to teach your child the essentials of humanity.
5 Ways to Teach Your Child About Charity or Donating to Others
- Look For Volunteer Options: Keeping an eye out for options and opportunities to volunteer in and around your community is always a wonderful way to plant the seed of charity in your child. As a parent, you should look for volunteer options that will excite your child and align with your kids’ interests. This could be something as basic as volunteering to foster a kitten or offering free tutoring to the underprivileged. It is the small steps that add up to a stark difference. This positive reinforcement works well with kids to encourage their efforts in giving. You should also continuously appreciate and praise them.
- Pay It Forward: Small acts of kindness can turn someone’s gloomy day into a bright one. A famous saying says, “Pay it forward.” It stems from the idea that if someone does something good for you or performs an act of kindness, do not keep it to yourself; pay it forward to someone else who needs it. Every act of kindness creates a ripple effect. There are numerous ways to ensure that your child models appropriate behaviours and apply them in their daily lives. Small acts of kindness can make someone feel positive, and your child will feel lighter at heart. Like offering to bag your groceries when the cashier works alone or leaving a note on a stranger’s car wishing them a lovely day.
- Start a “Giving Bank”: A “Giving Bank” is a piggy bank wherein you can initiate the idea of contributing a penny or two for every good thing that happens to anyone in the family, and when the bank gets full, the money can be donated to a charity. In this way, parents can model giving to their children and practice what they preach. This will not only build to instructing the child about charity or donation but also inculcate a sense of responsibility.
- Be a Part of the Community: The idea of volunteering is being a part of the community. As parents, teach your child to be the “invisible hand.” Service is a skill that is not inherent but is practised and built on. It is like establishing a habit. Encourage them to participate in donation and charity, be cautious about themselves and others, and grow on a righteous path guided by their essential inherent values.
- Encourage Gratitude: In addition to building acts of kindness and compassion as virtues in children, encourage the skill of being grateful in the child. Being grateful is not easy; it is an art and requires a huge heart. As parents, you should teach your children to be charitable and aware of those around them. A sense of gratitude encourages compassion and fuels the desire to give back.
Getting them into Action and Implementation
While the tips to instruct your child about charity and donation remain unchanged, it is crucial to get them in action and implement them in the right direction. When deciding how to best support your child and encourage their charitable activities, it is advisable to think about their age. Following an age-centric bottom approach in this regard with the cultural conditioning of the child will encourage the absorption of essential values about charity and donation to others by the child.
Charity is the hallmark of humanity. It is initiatives like this when one decides to step out of their comfort zone and acknowledge the divide prevailing in society. It is crucial to teach and introduce children to the “not-so-rosy” picture of the world before actual reality pricks them.