My kids are 5 and 6, and at this point, the holidays are about one thing: ripping open presents. They wholeheartedly still believe in Santa (along with a Jewish gift-giver we made up named "The Chanukah Man"), and although they asked for a reasonable number of gifts, they only understand one side of the holiday coin: the receiving side.
To introduce the concept of giving, I took them holiday shopping a few times, and mentioned how fun it is to buy gifts for other people. However, I’m not sure how much that message got through. I wondered if they sensed my internal nervousness over spending more money than I really have, or the fact I was more annoyed by the crowds than enjoying the present-shopping experience.
So, I am wondering what else I can do to stress the importance of giving at the holidays. When they are older, I will consider volunteering for a meal program, but I think they’re a little young for that now. But surely there are ways to demonstrate giving to little kids, right?
Every year our family buys presents for children through the Bay View Community Center. Our kids range in ages from 1 up to 10 & the older ones enjoy shopping for the children we get. They really take their time in trying to figure out what they would want if it were them.....of course our kids still have the eye on the prize for the morning of the 25th. They have come to understand that there are families who are in need of help & if you are in a position to help then you should do something.
dburz | Dec. 13, 2008 at 8:04 a.m. (report)
Many local charities accepts gifts that are donated to local children. Shop with your kids and let them pick out and wrap a gift, explaining it is for a child like them whose family can't afford what they have. Take them to COA, La Causa, March of Dimes or wherever to drop off the gift with them. Journal Sentinel has a list of charities if you need ideas.
Make sure your kids are there when you mail your property tax bill. That way they can see how you "give" your money to the government to pay for wonderful MPS schools.
no need to invent "The Chanukah Man" when there is already Hanukah Harry!
So many ways... you're probably doing a few and didn't even realize it...
Make sure they have specific chores to do... this shows them how to GIVE their time doing the routine things in life. It also sets an expectation that you aren't the hired help! Finally it helps them to understand that they live in the house and need to carry their own weight.
If there's a senior citizen center near you, or if you belong to a church or synagogue, have your kids make presents (snowflakes or pictures of snowman or something cheerful) and GIVE them to seniors. The seniors love the attention and it fosters cross generation interaction.
Give them change to put in the Salvation Army buckets and tell them that they did a "good thing" by giving money to help people not as fortunate as they are.
If they like animals, give to the Humane Society of WI. Find a charity that they would like and have them give to it... from their allowance of course.
When you're at the grocery store, set aside $5 each time, dedicated to buying something for a family in need. At the end of the month, have your kids help you bag the food and deliver it to a food pantry.
Maybe the best way to teaching about giving is to model the behavior for them! Good luck.
5 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Molly Snyder
Published July 27, 2017
The massive, decrepit, patchwork-painted Sydney Hih (pronounced "high") buildings, which splayed on the corner of 3rd and Juneau from the mid-1800s to 2012, went through many transformations over the years, but are remembered by many Milwaukeeans as a sanctuary of counter-culture that created and quelled bands, businesses, relationships and lives.
Published July 26, 2017
The taco plate at Margarita Paradise is a tasty deal for $5 - and an even tastier deal when you add another taco for $7.
Published July 25, 2017
Even if you signed the back of your license and have the "donor dot" sticker does not mean you're registered as an organ donor. And organ donors are desperately needed.
Published July 24, 2017
OnMilwaukee unofficially declared last week "Loose Ends Week." This means a bunch of sh*t got done and a bunch didn't.
Published July 22, 2017
Bay View's Bounce Milwaukee is as much of a grown-up destination as it is a kid zone. Adults can jump, slide, laser, climb, box, play video games, sumo wrestle and more, in between drinking beers or cocktails and eating healthy (or not healthy) food.
Published July 20, 2017
Nic and Nicole Quiles plan to open Milwaukee's first Autism-friendly community café - called Caban's Cafe - in October 2017.
Published July 17, 2017
This past weekend, artist Mauricio Ramirez and the Walker's Point neighborhood honored the life and career of Selena with the installation of a new conceptual mural "Anything for Selena."
Published July 17, 2017
It's completely, unofficially Loose Ends Week. Let's get some sh*t done and feel good about ourselves.
Published July 14, 2017
Guy Rehorst - the founder and owner of Great Lakes Distillery - became curious about distilling after homebrewing what he describes as "a really bad batch of beer." Today, he owns the state's first distillery since Prohibition.
Published July 14, 2017
A Chicago Tribune reporter challenged three Chicago craft brewers to a blind taste test of 16 "macro" beers. Guess who prevailed?