Have you ever heard of the saying ‘charity begins at home?’ It works, mainly because it’s always a good idea to be kind and giving to other people, especially those we do not know. Charity can begin at home with our little ones too, mainly by teaching them how rewarding it is to share and give to those who are less fortunate. It is also important to note that we should not teach them to give and expect something in return. Giving should be selfless and it is essential to help them understand these valuable lessons:
Show empathy. Everyone’s circumstances are different and a good way to show your kids this is to point out any beggars in the street. Chat with your kids and explain that some people may only eat once every few days. That they can’t afford to even wash their clothes, let alone enjoy cleanly washed clothes kissed with the soft touch of fragrant fabric conditioner!
Be consistent. As much as children get distracted easily, they are also forgetful and need to be reminded to do certain things. That is why it is imperative to teach them to be consistent with their giving. If you teach them to give occasionally, for example, it is highly likely for them to forget the important principle you want to instill in them. Every day there are people who need food, children who need clothing and toddlers who do not have a simple toy to play with so whenever they are able to give something of theirs away, do not stand in their way. They might end up surprising you by setting aside unwanted stationary without you asking them to.
Have ‘the talk’. We're always doing our best to give our children a lovely home, and maybe helping them to understand the need and value of charity is by pointing this out. Talk to them about what life is like for children living at orphanages, and how many children from different walks of life and circumstances have homes and rooms that are much different to theirs. This will yield at least some kind of response from a child, even if only a small one. Once those little eyes are opened to the struggles of other children, some of whom they could very well be playing with on the field at break-time, it helps to put everything into perspective. The added bonus of this? It may just help to instill some more gratitude in your kids for the life that they live and the things they have – most of which many other children are so dismally deprived of.
Set an example. Children usually mimic what parents do instead of listening to what we say. It would rather be pointless to tell them to donate to charity without showing them how to do so. Donating to charity does not necessarily have to be monetarily but can be done through volunteering as well as giving clothes that do not fit anymore to underprivileged children and donating toys they do not use anymore.
Before heading for a road trip to your local old-age home or orphanage, load up your car with all of the once-loved toys and clothes and give them a good clean. Don’t forget to wash all plush toys (they get dirty so quickly!) and clothes and give them a fresh, soft new lease on life with a beautifully fragrant baby fabric conditioner. This way, these specially selected toys will give that extra hug of mother’s love to those who need it the most.