Teaching your children how to give back is one of the most valuable lessons they can learn as they get older. There are many ways to give to others, from small acts of kindness to giving up their time, donating money through the GoHenry app or giving away unwanted toys and clothes. It's a great way for children to learn about the value of money and that even the smallest gesture can make a big difference to someone else.
Why teach your child about giving back
While you want your kids to grow up to be healthy, happy and successful people, you will more than likely also want them to be grateful for what they have and show compassion for those in need. Teaching young people about the importance of giving and thinking of others can help them grow into productive, kind and generous adults. Here are just three benefits of teaching your child about giving and helping others.
1. Valuable money lessons
Donating money and items to a worthwhile cause shows children that money isn't everything. It is also a useful lesson about appreciating what they have and the differences between needs and wants.
2. Learn about compassion and empathy
Getting into the habit of regularly giving, however small, can help your child develop a sense of purpose, compassion and empathy for others.
3. Connects kids with their community
Giving back is an excellent opportunity to show children the importance of community and supporting those around us.
How to teach your child to give back
Teaching your child to give back involves more than just taking a bag of unwanted toys to the local charity shop. Here are eight tips for teaching your kids how to give back.
1. Explain what donating means
Use everyday examples of giving and donating that your kids can relate to. For instance, that time they helped your elderly neighbour bring in the shopping. Point out that these little acts of kindness are examples of donating their time to help others. You can then use this to build on and explain other ways they can donate, such as donating through the Giving feature on the GoHenry app.
2. Help your child understand why it's needed
For children to want to help others, they need to understand why help is needed in the first place. This means talking to your kids about why you donate warm blankets to a homeless shelter during winter or why you take food items over to the local food bank. The idea of homelessness or food poverty may still be an abstract concept for many young children. You'll need to explain it in simple terms and then build on their understanding as they get older.
3. Lead by example and donate as a family
The best way for children to learn about giving is by seeing it first-hand. Take them with you when you take unwanted clothes to the local charity shop or put money into charity boxes. Ask them to pick out a few cans of food when you're in the supermarket to put aside for the food bank or bring them with you when you participate in fundraising events. While it sets a good example, it also gives you an opportunity to chat about the importance and rewards of giving.
4. Volunteer with your child
Volunteering with your child to help a local charity is a good way to give back to the community and an important way of getting your kids on board with the concept of giving. Plenty of charity and community organisations would appreciate an extra pair of hands, whether helping at a fundraising event, serving food at a homeless shelter, or volunteering in a charity shop.
5. Show them the impact
Kids are more likely to respond well to giving if they understand the impact of their giving. Identify some recently completed community projects and take your child along to show them what can happen when people donate their time, money and resources. If you regularly donate to a local animal shelter, take your child to the shelter and ask the staff to show you what they do with their donations and how it helps the animals in their care.
6. Encourage your children to choose a charity
Ask your kids to pick a charity that your family can donate to, whether by volunteering your time or giving money or items. Suggest a few charities to your child, explaining what they do, and let them pick one that matters to them. They are more likely to want to give up their time if it's for a cause they've chosen and know about.
8. Explain what can be donated
Do some research into what can be donated to your chosen charity. If your child has chosen a charity shop to donate to, find out what they will accept and let the rest of the family know. Most charity shops will accept clothing and household items that are clean and in good condition.
How can GoHenry help you teach your child about charity and donating
To become responsible givers as they get older, children need to learn how to manage their own money. When their GoHenry prepaid debit card is topped up with their pocket money, they can practise making responsible spending, saving and giving choices.
Children can use their GoHenry app to check their balance, recent transactions and donate. Using the app's giving feature, kids and teenagers have already donated a combined total of £200,000 to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). They can also use the app to access Money Missions, where they'll find a wealth of financial resources that cover money basics such as borrowing, investing, saving and giving.