I was reading a magazine this morning that Zachary brought home yesterday from school called "Parent & Child". (I think it's from Scholastic not that that makes any dang bit of difference.) I found it on the kitchen chair this morning and thought I'd do a little perusing while I was waiting for the shower to warm up and the kids were still sleeping.
They had a really interesting article in there about teaching your children good deeds and thinking about others at even the earliest of ages and tips/ideas on things to do that are age appropriate.
I found the article inspiring and thought-provoking. In the past, we've introduced the idea of thinking of others and giving of ourselves by having a yearly pilgrammage to buy toys that they pick out and give to "Toys for Tots" during the Christmas season. The last couple of years we haven't done this...I guess the excuse is we've been too busy. But I think it's really important to teach the kids that we are very fortunate to have the things that we do have. And I'm not just speaking of material things....yes, it's nice that we have the house, car, etc. But I'm talking more about family. There are so many kids out there that have no one that care for them. No moms and dads or moms and dads that could give a shit less about them. THAT is what I want the kids to understand....how incredibly important the relationships of family and good friends are. One of the lessons that we've been working on in therapy with Zachary is looking outside of himself. Apparently children like Zachary are very, very focused on only themselves so it's important to push him to think of others. Why? Well, some simple reasons that root themselves in socially acceptable behavior....like not *ALWAYS* having to be first in line. Asking questions when others are speaking to you. Things like that.
Some of the suggestions were simple and easy to do...and everything was age appropriate. Such as:
* On their birthdays, picking out a toy or donating money to a local children's home.
* Making sandwiches and decorating the bags/boxes and dropping them off at the local homeless shelter.
* Volunteering at the humane society feeding and watering or just playing with the animals.
* Putting some of their allowance each week into a jar and when the jar is full they get to choose where to donate it.
* Walk with the kids in a 5k race for a charitable organization. Explain to the kids what its for and why its so important.
There were a bunch more, but those are the ones that stuck out in my mind. I googled the topic "kids doing good" and tons of references came up including this book: Doing Good Together. So I encourage you to find time to teach your children about charity. And if you do charitable deeds with your kids, what do you do?
3 weeks ago