Teach Your Kids Altruism with a Family Giving Plan
Caring for others and being concerned about their well-being is an integral part of our humanity.
Of course, this extends to our loved ones, including significant others, children, and friends. However, giving back to strangers, our communities, and the world at large is also incredibly important.
Here, we’ll look at the benefits of altruism, defined as “unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others,” as well as how to create a Family Giving Plan that you, your little ones, and your whole family can easily follow now and for years to come.
3 Benefits of Altruism
According to the Making Caring Common Project at Harvard University, the makings of empathy, compassion, and care for others exist in the early stages of life.
However, your little ones rely on you to drive these virtues home and nurture them through childhood and adolescence. With these foundations and reinforcements in place, these values can last well into adulthood.
That said, why should we prioritize altruism to begin with?
Extensive research speaks to the benefits of altruism on a personal level. They include but aren’t limited to:
Better health and longevity.
Of course, those on the receiving end of charity also obtain benefits of their own.
If you follow the popular creed of paying it forward, small acts of giving and grace can last for endless cycles and reach many people, making those involved happier and healthier.
Eventually, the world becomes a better place — and isn’t that something we all want for our kids and their kids for generations to come?
How to Make a Family Giving Plan
Now that you’re on board to prioritize giving back to others, it’s time to take action.
Enter: Your Family Giving Plan.
Here are five creative ways to inspire your children and whole family to be more mindful, charitable, and caring:
- Go through the clothes, toys, books, and other belongings that your little ones have outgrown. More importantly, do it together. Beforehand, let them know that these items will make their way to a new, loving home, and that their charity will brighten someone else’s day.
- Ask your children what they’re passionate about, then get moving. For instance, if they love furry creatures, choose a day each week or month to volunteer at a local animal shelter.
- Educate your children on the importance of nutrition while also letting them know that some people don’t have access to the foods, sweets, and treats that they do. Doing so can inspire them to donate to those in need, and may even lead them to waste less food of their own.
- Incorporate kindness and giving effortlessly into your family’s lifestyle. For example, if you love to explore the great outdoors, make it a fun challenge to ask your kids to clean up as much litter as they can within a certain timeframe. Tell them that other nature lovers (and Mother Nature herself!) stand to benefit.
- Make giving back part of your family traditions. Ideas include: volunteering at a soup kitchen every Thanksgiving, sending gifts to children’s charities over the winter holidays, and giving back to organizations in lieu of buying extra presents on birthdays.
Above all, when it comes to caring for others and establishing a family giving plan, your task is to set a good example. Your children will inevitably learn from your values and actions, so make sure you’re on the right path so you can lead by example.
Michele Ross is a freelance writer and copy editor based in Los Angeles. Clean skincare and hiking make her heart happy.