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by Kat Rowe | December 13, 2021

When gift getting takes centre stage how do we change perspective and raise children who are compassionate and generous, who understand the value of giving rather than receiving? Here are some suggestions for teaching our children to be content with what they have, grateful, and contribute to others.

Whenever possible, teach little ones about moderation to help them appreciate the importance of giving and thankfulness throughout the holiday season, and make quality family time a priority throughout the holidays. Here are some tips for teaching children about giving back:

1. Minimise excess in the home

Start by diverting your child’s attention away from the “things” if you want to teach them about giving over the holidays.

If you usually spend a lot of money on gifts around the holidays, make a resolution to spend less this year. Many parents find it useful to stick to the ‘Want, Need, Wear, Read’ guideline, which is that children should receive four gifts, one from each category.

Also, resist the temptation to pack each day with activities. Spend a few evenings as a family at home, playing games, watching movies, or cooking together.

2. Focus on the deeper meaning

The holiday season is firmly anchored in many families’ faith or traditions. Spend time teaching your children about your family’s beliefs and the significance of the specific customs that help to make the season special. If you’re not sure how to explain these concepts to young children, seek help from your local community to assist you with information and age-appropriate materials.

3. Begin cherished customs

The holidays are a time for joy, gifting, and family traditions. While many children have experienced the thrill of opening presents, many have never experienced the joy of giving. Teaching your children about charity is an excellent method to foster empathy and give them hands-on experience with helping others. Create new traditions with children around giving back and donating to meaningful causes

4. Teach kids to give back

We’ve all heard the ancient proverb, “It’s better to give than to get.” Giving to others promotes positive wellbeing and gratitude. Acts of giving and kindness – small and large – are associated with positive mental wellbeing and improving gratitude, a thankful appreciation for what an individual has, whether tangible or intangible.

During the Christmas season, young children can learn to give back by saying something nice, smiling, sharing a toy, cheering up a lonely friend or family member, or donating to a meaningful cause.

Help Stride make a difference this holiday season. Your donation will help someone find a place to live and work, a family feel more supported, or a child get the best start in life.

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