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Does your child know the meaning of charity?

All parents have big dreams for their children. But usually, the dreams or aspirations are limited to the professional arena. If you ask a parent what he/she plans for his/her child, the most likely answer would be something to do with studies, sports, or perhaps art. Yes, all parents strive for their children to excel in academics, or in sports, or perhaps make a mark as a well-known singer or artist. And they spend money, time, and effort to ensure that their children receive the best education, facilities, and opportunities to realise those dreams.

However, how many parents have said, “I want my child to be a good person with a strong character, helpful, generous, and loving.”Maybe parents don’t say this because it goes without saying. Of course, all parents want to see in their children a deep sense of integrity, honesty, and character. Is it something that needs special work?

Yes, simply put, it is. All people 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.

In raising children, it is vital that parents instil in children good values, wisdom, and awareness to help them develop strong and compassionate character traits. Honesty, integrity, tolerance, love, compassion, and respect are values that must be instilled from early childhood to enable the child to grow up with these values ingrained in their psyche. If you’re looking for parenting advice on how to develop these values, start with simple actions that kids can easily identify with.

Charity is such an essential value and habit that all parents should instil in their children. Charity, as they say, begins at home. It is extremely important for parents to teach children how to give back to those in need and to society as a whole. What we teach children in the early years will have a strong influence on them in the future. Therefore, teaching children the value of charity should become an everyday part of life.

What exactly is charity?

When raising children, you should be careful not to force your child to do anything. Children have very intelligent minds and readily accept something they are convinced of. Therefore, good advice for parents is to gently explain to your child what the real meaning of charity is, which simply put is “giving for the joy of giving”.

Be a role model.

Set an example for your children. You can donate clothing and household items that you no longer use but are in good condition to charities and the less fortunate. If possible, contribute your services to social welfare work. Your children will follow in your footsteps when they see that you are charitable to others. So practise what you preach.

When your child realises that charity helps to make someone else’s life easier and doesn’t ask for anything in return, he or she will understand the true joy of such a kind act.

Encourage children to provide selfless service.

Encourage your child to participate in social activities, to try to understand another’s needs, and to be one step ahead of others in helping those in need. When children understand the real meaning of charity, it will help them develop feelings of compassion, generosity, and selflessness.

Other ways to be charitable.

Being charitable is more than donating stuff. It also means being kind to a new kid at school, holding the door open for an elderly person, helping your mom clean the table, lending a helping hand at the convenience store, helping your dad clear the snow. Charity also means being gentle and kind to animals. As parents, you must teach your children these little things about being caring and compassionate.

Talk to children about charities.

Talk to your children about charitable people. If your child loves movies, tell him/her how some stars are committed to helping others and doing a lot of charity. You can also tell kids about Bill Gates, Paul Newman, and other humanitarians.

When talking to your child about life wisdom, use illustrated books, news stories, and motivational videos with inspirational messages and beautiful images. Good parenting means values-based parenting, which takes into account your child’s overall personality development and helps him/her grow into a good, genuine, kind, and loving person. When you teach your children these values, you as a parent will also find that you build a strong parent-child relationship.

Charity is doing good, just for God’s sake, and that makes our world a lot kinder. With all these parenting aids mentioned above, you can help your children understand the importance of charity and help them grow up to be caring, compassionate, and wonderful people.