What does the Festive Season mean to you?
Many of us are lucky enough to have some wonderful associations with this special time of year. If we fall into this category, it’s likely that the realisation that we’re the exception only happened much later in our lives. In a country still marred by massive inequality and poverty, we cannot ignore this, and neither can our children.
If you are a parent, you have an amazing opportunity not only to create beautiful memories for your children during this time, but to also foster in them an awareness of those less fortunate.
Here’s why you should consider teaching your child the importance of giving THIS December:
1. No Better Time than the Present
Now is the perfect time to start modelling charitable behaviour to your children – the younger, the better. This is the time kids absorb the most; what you teach your child now is what will stick with them well into their later years. Children also tend to be naturally generous and compassionate in their early years, so the sooner you start, the more willing they’re likely to be.
2. Helping Others Helps You Too
When you give to others, it should (in theory) be a selfless act. However, despite your intentions, there is no doubt that you get something out of the act of giving: a sense of purpose; hope; a feeling of belonging and even community. While serving comes in many forms and isn’t always necessarily ‘fun’, the side-effects of this act will do amazing things for your child’s confidence and give them a sense of being part of something bigger than themselves.
3. The Season of Giving: The Start of Something Great
Christmas time is the perfect reason to start teaching your child about charitable giving – everywhere you look, fundraisers and events are being thrown in the effort to raise money for causes that rely on volunteers and donations. Plus, these events can actually be a lot of fun at this time of year, which is great to get your kid excited about volunteerism (initially). The trick is to maintain this practice throughout the year; the festive season is simply a great opportunity to get into the spirit of giving.
4. Exposure & Connections
Exposing your children to charitable organisations gives them the opportunity to consider other career paths. Many of us only realise much later in life that working for an NGO or NPO is actually a viable and rewarding career choice. Even if your child decides on another route, volunteering will always stand in their favour: it looks great on a CV, teaches them important life skills and they will no doubt make some valuable personal connections along the way.