This week we give thanks for what we have received. Children often find receiving and saying thank you much easier than giving. Recently, a friend shared that she was having a hard time teaching her daughter to be a generous, cheerful giver. Here are some suggestions for her and all of you
To help a child learn generosity, try these simple steps that did work with my children.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to give each child a spirit of generosity
- Model generosity
- Model JOY in giving, even when there is no reciprocal expected. Make purchasing for others a festive occasion. Follow a trip to Goodwill with a stop for ice cream. W
- Ask the child to help you plan a gift for a person the child loves, admires–grandparent or other parent and coach that person to make a huge fuss over the gift and the THOUGHTFULNESS that went into it–same with making a gift for that person
- When buying for siblings, if you notice your child eyeing something for him or her self, buy it secretly and then, after the sib gifts have been given out, give this as a gift to the generous person who picked out the other gifts–only do this for literal little ones, under age six. Best place to practice it is in the dollar store.
Don’t expect overnight results. Do expect progress and setbacks. I still have setbacks–donating a performance and then being upset when not given a notation in the program–I should not expect anything in return when I make the gift of time and performance, but….human nature, or at least my human nature. Continued prayer is the answer. I’m not perfect yet. If you are alive, you parents out there, you aren’t perfect either and neither is your adored little one. Time will tell.
Hugs and kisses for each and every generous impulse are a good teacher too. Never punish.