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How to Teach Your Children The Gift of Giving

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Amy Carmichael once said, “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” One of the greatest qualities you can instill in your child is the desire to give because it offers so many benefits to both your child and everyone around them.

According to a study by the Harvard Business School, giving money to someone else lifted the giver’s happiness more than if they spent it on themselves. Giving also is good for our health because studies show that those who volunteer and give have reduced stress and lower blood pressure.

Explain the Importance of Giving

No matter how you choose to give, the best place to start is by explaining why you are giving in the first place.  If you are giving to someone in need, take a moment to show them what being in need is like. Let them know that other kids like them don’t have all of the cool toys and clothes that your child does. You can take them to the different organization’s websites or show them pictures of who they are helping. This will allow them to transition from the abstract notion of giving up their belongings to being able to see the purpose behind it.

If you are giving to a family member or friend, explain that gifts show how much you love and appreciate them. Having your child understand the motivation behind the giving will allow them to embrace the idea as a whole rather than have them doing this only because you are telling them to.

Here are some great ways to teach your child the gift of giving.

Giving Through Donations

One of the easiest places to begin is through donations. You can donate anything from toys to money to even candy. You could start this process by going through your child’s belongings with them and asking them what they no longer use. Remind them that their items are going to a good home where other kids like them can love them. However, let them take ownership of what they want to give away. If your children are on the older side, you can give them ownership of their giving by allowing them to find organizations for themselves that they are passionate about and want to donate to.


Material possessions are not the only thing that your kids can give. Volunteering is a great way to give to your community and serve others in need.

There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities like serving in a soup kitchen, animal shelter, visiting kids in hospitals, or even helping build homes for others, so it is easy to find an opportunity that everyone can enjoy.

One of the great things about volunteering is your child can see the immediate benefit of their giving. They can see the smiles it brings to others and the joy that they can bring to people who need it. Volunteering also allows them to start seeing the world from another’s point of view and teach them compassion and empathy for people who are different from them.

Giving Gifts

This one may seem the most obvious but that does not diminish its value. Teaching your child to give gifts to siblings, family members or friends is a perfect way to let your child take ownership of their giving.

The key to this is having your child take as much responsibility for the gift as they can, including picking it out, wrapping it, and paying for the gift. It might be tempting to simply have your child pick out the gifts, but instead it is important to have your child use their own money to buy the gift or let them do extra chores as “payment.” This way they will actually take ownership of the gift and see it as their own gift. You can of course help them how you see fit, but it should be driven by your child.

Be a Role Model

Kids learn by watching their parents, so the best way to teach them the gift of giving is by demonstrating it. Volunteer and donate together; let them see what you are giving too. Make giving a habit for your entire family, don’t let it just become a one time thing. No matter how old you are, a habit of giving will serve you well.

To read more educational content for children and parents, visit The Learning Experience. If you want to find a daycare center near you, visit Find a TLE Center.

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