Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Helping Raise a Thankful Child

Setting a Good Example of Generosity

With only seven more working days until Thanksgiving, today is a great time to talk to children about why generosity it is so important.

The best way to do show kids how to be generous is by being generous yourself. Being a good role model is especially important with preschool-age children who often do best learning a new idea when it is modeled for them.

Working as a nanny or au pair you may be spending more waking time with children than their parents. Therefore, you are an important role model. You should demonstrate to little ones the notions of thankfulness, kindness, and generosity and why they are so important.

Showing generosity through random acts of kindness takes little preparation or time. It can happen at anytime, any day, just step in and help whenever you can. If the kids see you engaging in generous behavior, they'll want to do the same thing.

Scholastic also recommends getting kids involved in a charitable activity. It's an ideal way to teach a child values such as generosity, compassion, and gratitude and prevent them from coming down with an annual case of holiday"the gimmes."

When selecting an activity, consider the child's interests, and let them help choose so they feels that it's something they want to do instead of has to do. Spend some time brainstorming together: Outdoors or indoors? Working with people or animals? Also consider their physical ability, sensitivity, and attention span — shoveling snow for an elderly neighbor is great for an older child, but perhaps not the best idea for a six-year old. To find more options and specific opportunities in your neighborhood, visit volunteermatch.org.

Whether you are buying food for a local food drive or donating clothing to a church, let the preschooler know what you are doing and why. You aren't showing off or patting yourself on the back, you are demonstrating generosity in action.

Amanda Rock, About.com Guide


AuPairDebbie said...

Great ideas. How do we go about asking the parents for extra $ to do these gift giving or food donations?

Anonymous said...

Such great ideas this 8 days of thanksgiving.

Lisa said...

My 8 year old charge's class is doing extra errands around their homes to earn money that they will go shopping with, I think as a field to purchase gifts for underprivileged kids.

They have a log sheet they are supposed to use to track it all. We give her things to do when it seems like we have a lot to juggle. Like in one case I gave her some money to unload a dishwasher one day.