Today’s personal finance hack is about instilling the importance of charity within children.

There are many attributes parents aspire to help develop within their children and being charitable is one of them. The motivation for pursuing this path is both intrinsic as well as extrinsic:

  • Intrinsic motivation for charity: Being charitable is a rewarding endeavor for both parents and children because helping others creates an empowering and enriching experience for the giver.
  • Extrinsic motivation for charity: The existence of economic inequalities is a harsh reality, which can be addressed at the grassroot level when individuals reach out to help those at the bottom of the pyramid.

Charity is something that can be taught to children at a young age, well before they earn for themselves or receive an allowance. They say, “Charity begins at home” and there’s a good reason for that. Here are three ways parents can sow the seeds of philanthropy within their children.

1. A culture of giving at home

Parents can create a culture of giving at home by encouraging children to openly share their belongings among family members. Positive reinforcement must follow each act of giving/sharing, even if it is for something as menial as a pencil or a spoon. Eventually, kids can be encouraged to give away old toys or clothes to charity, or a portion of their allowances. Every little contribution and effort must be appreciated by parents so children may begin to enjoy the act of giving.

2. Set good examples of charity for children to emulate

Kids learn by example and every charitable effort made by parents gets recorded as a desirable act in the minds of children. Parents may want to first explain why it’s important to make donations so children have a bit of context. Kids may tag along with their parents whenever a deposit is made to Goodwill or other charitable organisations. Alternatively, if it’s safe enough, children can accompany their parents to give alms directly to a person in need.

It’s a good idea to mention the impact that the donated items will have on the receiver because kids have a lot of empathy and will better understand the goodness of giving to help develop a habit in the long run. Another way to stir empathy within your kids is to donate to children’s charities, such as, Save The Children or another good child sponsor organization.

3. Volunteer work by parents can teach kids to follow suit

Parents must encourage every family member to seek out volunteering opportunities participate in them, as long as it is safe to do so. While grownups may engage in high-involvement work like volunteering at old age homes or cooking meals to distribute among homeless people, children can help out in smaller projects community service projects like collecting money, old toys or clothes for an underprivileged person or helping an elderly neighbor clean their yard, all under the supervision of their parents.

The added benefit of teaching charity through volunteer work is that children understand that donating their time can be just as good and powerful as donating physical items or money.

A quick internet search will reveal more community service ideas as well as youth volunteer opportunities near you, so parents can go through the list together with their kids to determine the best options.

Thanks for reading this post. I’d love to hear what you have to say about this topic.