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Learning about generosity can start when children are young. When they do thoughtful things for others, it helps them see a world beyond themselves. It also sets them on a path to make a difference in others' lives. Here's how you can help.
Spend time helping others. Hold the door open for other people. Volunteer to serve food at a shelter. Help a neighbour by shovelling their driveway or mowing their lawn. Give your child the chance to talk about the experience of helping others. Ask your child, "Why do you think it's important for us to help others?" Or, "How did it make you feel to help others?" These questions will help them understand why their help makes a difference to other people.
Ask about your child's interests, and then guide them toward a project they can do themselves. For example, animal lovers can collect blankets for an animal shelter. Children who love to read can collect gently used books to donate to a local charity.
Your child can let someone go ahead of them in line or do a sibling's chore. Help your child learn how their actions make a difference. Ask them, "How did it feel when you helped someone else today?"
Explain to your child that sometimes people won't thank them for their help. Even if your child's kindness isn't acknowledged, it's still meaningful. Tell your child that not being thanked is a way to be generous. It means you are helping someone for the pure reason of doing something kind.
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Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health & Donald Sproule MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
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