View Full Version : Weekly Poll: How do you teach your kids about giving to others?

11-24-2011, 07:07 AM
I have to apologize to any one who doesn't celebrate the holidays for my weekly polls about the holiday season in November and December. But I have found even if you don't celebrate the holidays that everyone does "something" special around this time of year. I like for my boys to volunteer all year round but during the holidays there are always more opportunities to help out others in need. Like toy drives, items for soldiers, blankets for the homeless (its just that time of year), helping out families in need, the list can go on and on depending where you live! We are doing a little of all of these great causes and I am also bringing it home to our neighborhood with having the boys help neighbors(raking the leaves to the curbs is a big one for our neighborhood right now) , making baked goods for our friends and others to have something sweet, helping out at senior centers for all the seniors that do not have family that can visit and lastly to make every holiday a little more "special" making gifts for family and our outdoor friends (birds and those not so favorite of mine the squirrels! yes they are cute BUT they destroy my bird feeders and they have their own!!) Also at our house the boys learn about managing their money they are required to buy or make (but they have to buy any materials that they might need to complete the project) a present for their brother, dad and mom.

So how do you teach your kids about giving to other??

11-24-2011, 07:29 AM
My mom's church works a soup kitchen several times a year & my dd does that with my mom. A few times a year, we give the kids a budget and let them choose groceries that we then donate to the food bank. At least 2 times a year, we go through the house, box up everything we no longer need/use/fit and donate it. We always give the kids whatever cash we have on us to donate to whichever charity is collecting outside the stores. Each Christmas, my MIL donates to the homeless shelter in the name of each of her grandkids, as her present to them. We donate to various charities throughout the year & the kids help choose which one each time. This year, the kids decided they want to make homemade bird feeders, sell them, and donate the money to a local animal shelter. My daughter has found several places she wants to volunteer - one is an animal sanctuary that dh & dd will both be volunteering at as soon as dh is done with his current coursework. When she turns 16, she also plans to volunteer at the local no-kill shelter. She goes around the neighborhood asking neighbors if they need help raking their yards (some pay her, but she doesn't expect any money for it, just does it to be helpful) & will do the same for shoveling snow this winter. This year, one of our Christmas presents is that I 'adopted' animals for each of us through the WWF.
We don't do a lot of family volunteering, focusing more on donations at this time, because of ds. He's simply too hyper & wild right now for doing volunteer work. With dd being a teen now, though, she's finally getting the opportunity to volunteer on her own.

11-24-2011, 09:46 AM
i voted 'other' but wished there was an 'all of the above' option.

each year, we sponsor a foster child through plan canada. each month, the after school program DS attends does some kind of volunteer/giving back project. each week, DS donates 20% of his allowance to a charity of his choice. we volunteer at the local food bank as often as possible and during the holiday season we buy gifts for less fortunate children via a local giving tree. our local lion's club also makes up xmas hampers for families and i'm going to see if they will let us come and help out this year as well.

i had big plans for a character education curriculum this year, but unfortunately i don't seem to get around to it very often... on the upside, our character education extra-curriculars are alive and well! :)

11-25-2011, 03:18 AM
We don't do anything. Unless you count donating stuff to Goodwill. In the past few years we've been the receivers of stuff, so maybe that has taught our children more than I could ever have with words or even actions. They have big hearts and come up with ideas on their own. Nothing we've followed through with, but still we could at some point. They have a giving spirit.

Stella M
11-27-2011, 09:18 PM
I've been puzzling over this question. All of my kids are givers, but it certainly isn't something they've been instructed in. I did realise though that there is a culture of volunteering in my family and maybe they've just absorbed some of that. Or maybe they were just born sweet :)

11-29-2011, 03:52 PM
I voted "other" - meaning all of the above. We teach by example and it's just a part of our lives. It can be something as simple as helping someone jump-start their vehicle in the grocery store parking lot, buying a few extra cans of cat food to drop into the bin at the grocers or volunteering at a food drive.

11-29-2011, 04:38 PM
They see dh and I volunteer our time and give money. We give through church a good bit as well and that's a component of the RE curriculum there that I actually like. I wish there were more volunteer opportunities for them, but as they get older, it'll come.

11-30-2011, 08:57 AM
I voted other, because I don't really go out of my way to make sure my daughter is learning about giving. She raised a little bit of money for big cats for Halloween, and after I told her what the mitten tree was for I suggested she donate to it. She used her allowance to get to a 2-pack of gloves for $1. We'll take them to the tree at the library next week. I'd like to see us donate our time more as she gets older and the transportation issues we have become less of a problem.

As a family though we are clearing out some things in our spare room, and donating them to the goodwill and we're giving some inherited toys to Toys-for-Tots.

11-30-2011, 05:53 PM
Is it bad that when I first read the question title in the forum page I thought you meant how do you get your kid to give "his brother the toy that he keeps hitting him over the head with" kind of giving? I usually crochet little hats and scarves and that kind of thing to give to shelters. Our UU church does the Mitten Tree play on Solstice and they pause in the middle of the play so that everyone in the congregation can put hats mittens and scarves on the tree to donate to those less fortunate. It's a wonderful service. I hope someday my kids will learn to knit/crochet and they can contribute to that too. We also do the Winnipeg Harvest thing. Our church donates once a month so we like to contribute to that. Also our homeschool field trip group has lots of field trips that are volunteering experiences for charities and that kind of thing. I'm sure we'll find a way to incorporate it as they get older.

12-01-2011, 08:46 AM
Lori and Gracie go to her work (retirement community) every week and read to the blind, help out and just give of their time. Grace loves it!

12-12-2011, 06:00 PM
We just got a "guest at your table" box from our UU church, and our four year old is learning about giving to others through that. We have also purchased gifts for others and have tried to explain to him about how nice it is to get things, but also to give them. We also give him change to put into the kettle this time of year. After the holidays and gifts of new clothes, we will go through our stuff with him, and donate to the Salvation Army.