Sunday, November 4, 2012

Guest Post - how to get your children involved in helping others

We're again featuring a post from Action Aid, an international anti-poverty agency working with the poor to help end poverty and injustice. I think they do fabulous work with peacebuilding and disaster relief, and especially with women's rights, food rights and in the fight against HIV/AIDS.


Little Helpers: Get Your Children Involved in Helping Others

There are many great things about kids: their exuberance, their innocence, their playfulness. Perhaps what is best about our kids, though, are their big hearts, and their willingness to help others.

One of the best things we can do for our children is to teach them the value of helping others, and to foster in them a feeling of happiness and reward from reaching out to those in need. Whether it’s sending a letter to a child less fortunate, or spending time at a help shelter, we can teach our kids the skills that will make them valuable and respected members of society as they grow.

Take Your Child to Volunteer At a Shelter

Seeing the tremendous difference that helping out the homeless and downtrodden can make is a valuable experience for any young child. Take your son or daughter down to volunteer at a local shelter or charity service. Even spending the afternoon of one day in the weekend can make all the difference to their young minds. Teaching your child to help others in this way will entrench values of compassion and humanity, crucial to living a happy and healthy life.

Help Your Kid to Sponsor a Child

One of the most worthwhile things a parent can do for their child is to show them the difference they can make to another’s life.  While kids themselves may not have the money to sponsor a child, you can make them part of the process by including them every step of the way. Let your child know about the lifestyle of a child less fortunate, and about the difference a small donation can make to their life. This way, your child will see the face of the child behind the program, and can share in the joy of seeing their life improve!

Get Your Child Involved in Giving Gifts

This is something you can do whether you’re sponsoring a child or helping out at a refuge. Encourage your child to make arts and crafts that express their feelings towards the people you’re teaching them to help. Even small gestures, like making cards, or gift-wrapping food-packs, will instill in your child a sense of well-being and satisfaction. This way they get to see that completing tasks not only gives them a sense of achievement, but that it helps those around them too!

There are many ways we can teach our children the value of helping others. The important thing is to start early, and to get them involved on a personal level. This will teach them skills that will ensure their self-respect, and the respect of others for them in later life.

Jane Reynolds is a mother of two who runs her own business from home. She’s an avid cook, and has an interest in issues facing her local community.

4 comments:

  1. These are all great ideas...ones I hope I put into place once Toddler C gets bit older.

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  2. Great ideas. A friend was telling me that each week her children have to put $1 of their pocket money towards a charity of their choice

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  3. I absolutely love this blog post and the suggestions listed. I have been looking for ways to get my cherubs to be more mindful of others. Thank you Stacey and Jane. N x

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  4. You are very welcome! I think it's a wonderful thing to be aware of with kids... although I'm sure yours are wonderfully generous already x

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