My son can be a bit self-absorbed, just like any other child his age. He doesn’t like to share his toys, due to his only child status, and takes great offense to anyone being in his personal space, due to his introverted-nature. Given his flaws, I consider it my duty to teach him to consider other people.
With the first day of school around the corner, I thought a lesson in generosity would be fodder for his first pop quiz on generosity. So I used a simple trip for school supplies, as an introduction to charity and giving. As he picked out his school supplies, I encouraged him to select school supplies for a needy boy and girl his age.
Buying backpacks for needy children is actually one of my favorite charities to participate in. One, because I know I’m assisting the educational pursuits of a young mind, and two, it’s tangible. I know everything that I give is going to its intended cause, not some exec’s salary.
This year, I allowed my son to pick out his school supplies from his K-1st grade supply list, and then select those same items for an unknown boy and girl that needed our help. Needless to say, he loved it.
K choose his own backpack and then selected a backpack for the other two children. He choose Doc McStuffins for the girl, and Superhero team which included the Hulk and Iron Man for the boy. (I didn’t encourage him to pick something feminine or masculine for either of the other two children, but he automatically leans toward gender-stereotypes.)
After a long day of selecting the items, I allowed him to fill each bag, including his own backpack, with all of the items we purchased. He was very careful to make sure everyone got the same amount of pencils, folders, erasers, etc.
This is a great way to get kids used to giving, and considering others less fortunate than themselves. To find out more, go to Family Giving Tree.