Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Does Your Child Know the Meaning of Charity?
All parents have big dreams for their children. But most often, the dreams or aspirations are limited to the professional arena. If you ask a parent on what he/she plans for his/her child, the most likely answer would be something related to either academics or sports or maybe the arts. Yes, all parents aspire for their children to excel in academics, or in sports or maybe make a mark as a noted singer or artist. And they do spend money, time and efforts to arrange for their children to receive the best of training, facilities and opportunities to achieve those dreams.
But how many parents have you heard say, “I want my child to become a good human being who is of strong character, is helpful, generous and loving.” Maybe parents don’t say this because this is taken for granted. Well, of course, all parents want to see in their children have a deep sense of integrity, honesty and character. So is it something that needs to be specially worked on?
Yes, simply put, IT IS. All human beings are born good. It is only the circumstances, such as parents, family environment, social environment, friends, peers and others that lead them to develop certain character traits.
When raising children, it is vitally important for parents to instill good values, wisdom and awareness in children to help them develop strong and compassionate character traits. Honesty, integrity, tolerance, love, compassion and respect are values that need to be instilled right from the tender years to enable the child to grow up with these values ingrained in the psyche. If you look for parenting advice on how to develop these values, start with simple acts that children can easily identify with.
Charity is one such essential value and habit all parents must instill in their children. Charity as they say, begins at home. For parents, it is extremely important to teach children how to give back to people in need and to the society as a whole. What we teach children in the formative years will have a strong influence on them in future. Hence, teaching the value of charity to children should become an everyday part of life.
What exactly is Charity
When raising children, you must be careful not to impose anything forcefully on your child. Children have very intelligent minds and easily accept something about which they are convinced. Hence, an advice for parents will be to gently explain to your child the real meaning of charity, which simply put, is “giving for the joy of giving”.
Be a role model
Set an example for your children. You can donate clothes and household items which you no longer use but are in good condition to NGO's, charitable organizations and the less fortunate people. When possible, contribute your services for some social welfare work. Your children will follow in your footsteps if they observe you being charitable to others. So practice what you preach.
When your child understands that charity helps to ease and reduce another’s burden and it demands nothing in return, he/she will experience the true joy behind such a noble gesture.
Encourage children to offer selfless service
Encourage your child to participate in social welfare activities, to try and understand another person’s need and being a step ahead of others in helping those in need. When children understand the real significance of charity, it will help them to develop feelings of compassion, generosity and selflessness.
Other ways of being charitable
Being charitable doesn't only mean donating items. It also means being friendly to a new kid in the school, holding the door open for an elderly person, helping your mother clean the table, offering a helping hand at the neighborhood store, assisting your father in cleaning the snow. Charity also means being gentle and kind to animals. As parents, you need to teach these small little things of being caring and compassionate to your children.
Talk to children about charitable people
Have conversations with your children about people who do charity. If your child is fond of movies, tell him/her how some stars are devoted to helping others and do lots of charity. You can also tell kids about Bill Gates, Paul Newman and other humanitarians.
When talking to your child on issues of life wisdom, take the assistance of illustrated books, news items and motivational videos that have inspiring messages and beautiful images. Good parenting means value-based parenting, which takes into account the overall personality development of your child and helping him/her grow up into a good, sincere, kind and loving human being. When teaching these values to your children, as a parent you will also find that you are building a strong parent child relationship.
Charity is doing good just for goodness sake and that makes our world a kinder place. With all these above-mentioned parenting help, you can help your children understand the significance of charity and help kids grow to be a caring, compassionate and wonderful human beings.