I have a guest post today from Compassion UK. They are really keen to talk about how to teach you children about the important area of charity.
Introducing children to the concept of charitable giving at an early age is important for a variety of reasons. It helps them to establish a social consciousness in a wider context and also provides them with an appreciation for the value that compassion has as an emotion and personality trait.
The question of how to teach them about charity is a tricky one to answer, since this can involve discussions of sensitive subjects. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to let them learn more in a creative and engaging way.
Sponsor a Child
The simplest way to demonstrate the need for charity and highlight the positive effects it can have on the world is to sponsor a child in need with your own kids involved in the process. Refer to compassionuk.org/sponsorship to learn more.
Child sponsorship schemes typically allow for you to put a name and face to the giving that is going on, enabling you and your young ones to watch them make progress over time and reap the benefits of donations.
Showing children that people who are the same age as them live in seriously challenging conditions elsewhere in the world will help them empathise and understand just how vital the work of charities can be in proactively improving circumstances for the most vulnerable members of a society.
Simply telling your children about charity and the work that organisations in this sector do is a good start, but allowing them to experience this first hand is even more impactful as a learning tool.
There are thousands of volunteer programmes available around the country that allow adults and kids to get involved in charity work in their free time. Joining up as a family can be very instructive and will instil in young ones the values that will filter through into their outlook on the world as it coalesces over the years.
The type of volunteer work you sign up to do can be very varied, whether it is collecting litter to clean up the environment or handing out crucial resources at the local food bank. Even if you do not want to involve your children directly in volunteering itself, your own participation in this activity will set a good example that they will one day aspire to follow.
Outline the Varied Types of Giving
Contributing to charity might seem like a purely fiscal act to young children; making a regular donation requires cash and credentials that they simply do not possess. Because of this, it is important for parents, teachers and guardians to show that there are lots of ways to give to charity that do not involve having access to money.
Being able to donate physical goods is an ideal example of this and one which children will be able to understand much more easily, since they themselves will no doubt have lots of possessions at home. Let them know that they can choose to donate old clothes and toys to make a difference to others.
Used clothes generate almost £3 billion a year and also offset the waste problems facing the fashion industry at the moment. Likewise by donating toys, rather than throwing them away and harming the environment or leaving them to gather dust in the attic, children will see that it is possible to both enjoy the things they own and also do something beneficial with them once they are no longer needed.
The boys and I personally collect food to donte to our local food bank through November. We collect a month worth of items (one thing every day) and deliver them to the collections points in our local church at the start of December. Perfect timing for the month of December when food banks are the busiest.
Ultimately it is important to give your kids a rounded, involving introduction to charity rather than simply bombarding them with facts and hoping for the best.
This is a guest post and not paid for in any way.