Parents have a lot to think about. So much, in fact, we often leave ourselves very little time and energy to think about much else. How could we?
We’ve got our kids’ academic success to think about.
We’ve got our family’s schedule to keep running like a well-oiled machine.
We’ve got our kids’ social lives to stress over.
We’ve got our kids’ extracurricular activities to get them to on time.
We’ve got all the work inside and outside of the home to manage.
And if we’re lucky, we’ll use what’s left to take care of ourselves.
Like we said, it’s a lot.
And while it’s easy to get caught up in life’s more time sensitive issues, the more critical yet less visible matters often go overlooked. Generosity is one of those things. We know parents understand the value of raising kids who are generous with their time and resources to help others. However, our lives are so busy, teaching our kids about the power of giving is often seasonal and inconsistent. But raising generous kids should be higher on our list of priorities, because generous kids…
Are connected to a bigger story.
See beyond themselves with an expanded worldview.
Keep an unhealthy ego in check.
Learn to distinguish between what’s important and what’s not.
So, how do we raise the next generation to be intentionally generous? Here are a few practical ideas to incorporate generosity into your family’s rhythm:
Make volunteering a regular part of your family’s routine.
Serving others builds your kids’ awareness of the needs of others and expands their view of the world. And in many cases, your kids will have the opportunity to experience the appreciation of those they’re serving so they can feel firsthand the joy that comes with giving.
Require a portion of your kids’ allowance/commission to go toward giving.
Beyond teaching your kids the value of spending less than they earn, requiring your kids to give a portion of what they earn will help them adopt a habit of giving. Encourage your kids to give to a church, community project, or a cause of their choosing.
Teach them the concept of get one, give one.
This is particularly impactful around holidays known for receiving gifts. For Christmas, birthdays, or any day worth celebrating, buy two of the same gift. Ask your kid who they believe would enjoy or benefit from receiving the gift as much as they do. The goal here is to help prime their minds to notice the desires of those around them.
Commit to giving consistently to a cause.
When you commit to giving your time or resources over a period of time, your kids witness the impact of their generosity long term. Whether your family chooses to sponsor a child or donate money to a school scholarship fund, your kids will not only learn the importance of giving, they will also learn the power of patience and the impact even small deposits can have with consistency.
Most parents have one thing in common, and that’s the desire for our kids to have the best future possible. Raising generous kids will have a profound effect on their future, and that starts with making the practice of generosity part of your everyday life at home.