A parent’s journey is filled with opportunities to teach children lessons that are important to keep close to heart as the child pursues happiness, success, and love in their life. Two teaching points that determined parents strive to pass on are the virtue of good citizenship and the value of caring about others in the communities around us. In celebration of that goal, every year, families and friends across America recognize the Day of Giving (Giving Tuesday). This holiday is a relatively new one. In 2012, the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation created #GivingTuesday as a response to the more widely known, consumer-driven holidays this time of year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
This year, we kick off the charitable season with a gift that keeps on giving: ideas. It takes a generous heart to recognize the value of giving. Here are a few tips and simple ideas that you can use to organically teach your kids the virtue of generosity whether at home, on vacation, or somewhere completely unexpected.
#1. Start a gratitude journal. You can share this experience by turning it into a craft project or simply begin with a plain notebook. When on vacation, many souvenir stores have notebooks that can help you keep special memories fresh in mind. Encourage your child to write down any moments that they feel happy to have experienced on your vacation or are thankful for. A mindset of gratitude lays the foundation for generous behavior as opportunities present.
#2. Read a favorite book with your oldest child to their younger sibling. Giving children the opportunity to share in educational activities like this as their younger siblings learn will help foster a strong sense of purpose. As your oldest experiences the joy of storytelling, they will gain a sense of reward that motivates future behavior.
#3. When there is a gift to give, get your kid involved in the process. Have your child help select, wrap, and give it. This activity isn’t exclusive to the holidays, either. Crafts & homemade goodies make great spur-of-the moment gifts for friends, family, & members of your local community.
#4. Praise good deeds! One of the best things you can do is keep your eyes open for model behavior. Let these moments happen organically, then chime in when you see an opportunity to teach the lesson that you’d like them to hold on to. Recognize your child when you see them doing the right thing. Don’t let these moments go unnoticed. This will have a longer lasting effect on their future behavior than new behavior that you might try to introduce.
Engage your kids in activities that provide them with an internal reward for practicing generosity. As effective as candy bribes and material rewards can be in the short term, the incentives that stick come from within. Encouraging this value early in their lives will provide your kids with fertile soil for their social roots to grow from. By practicing these activities, they can connect more deeply with the communities that support their development in the moments when you are not there to guide them.
Keep these reminders nearby
Exploria Resorts Celebrates Giving Tuesday
In support of our corporate philanthropic partner, Shriners Hospitals for Children, we hosted a block party at our Summer Bay Orlando resort in Orlando. Many thanks to our generous donors and to everyone who came out to show their support and celebrate with us. To date, over $60,000 has been raised to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Join us as we continue to support Shriners Hospitals for Children in their mission to provide care for children who suffer from a wide range of orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate regardless of the families’ ability to pay. To donate, please visit our fundraising page.