be a cheerful giver
Help your tween learn to appreciate the joy of gifting, generosity and gratitude all year round. DR RICHARD C. WOOLFSON tells you how.
Children this age often become preoccupied with their Christmas wish list, so here are 10 strategies to teach your primary schooler about “giving”, instead of “getting”:
Explain that he should give to others
It may not have occurred to your kid that he can give as well as receive. Point out that his sister would be delighted if he gave her a present, just as he would be thrilled to get a gift. Everyone can give, not just adults.
He doesn’t have to buy something for you as a present – he could make a present instead, and you’d probably prefer that. Offer him craft ideas for making items such as a bookmark.
Offer practical support
He might be anxious about making his own gift, so it would help if you got involved. He needs to do most of the work himself, but you can help him cut out the cardboard for the bookmark.
Don’t wait until Christmas
There is no reason why Junior doesn’t give gifts to his family and friends at other times of the year as well. There are birthdays,
anniversaries and other opportunities for celebration. The more frequently your child gives, the easier giving becomes for him. Ask him to explain how he feels when he receives a present. Maybe he feels excited or happy because he knows the gift means the other person cares for him. Then tell him that everybody feels that way when they receive a present, not just him.
Help him understand what different charities do to help those who are less fortunate, namely collecting items and money from those who have more.
There are many ways that he can contribute, for instance, by giving some of his pocket money regularly or donating old toys, games, books and clothes. Giving does not have to involve grand gestures. Small amounts can have an impact, too. Whatever your young one decides to give to charity, he should deliver it himself, instead of expecting you to do this for him. So he should put the coins into the charity box, or carry his unwanted items to the charity shop and hand them over himself. That makes giving very real for him. True, there are no physical rewards from giving to other people. But point out to your child that he will get an emotional reward – he feels good knowing he has helped someone or he’ll beam with pleasure when they thank him for his kindness. The more frequently your child gives, the easier giving becomes for him.
When he decides to give instead of get, give him a big hug and tell him how proud you are of him for acting so kindly to others. Your positive response reinforces his pro-social action, so he will be more likely to give again.
Develop his sensitivity Talk about charity Involve him in charity donations Make giving practical Highlight the benefits Praise his acts