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 Jan. 16, 2017
While walking her dog in November, Kate O'Keefe was attacked. This Thursday, friends and neighbors host a fundraiser "Bay View Barks Back." Read O'Keefe's harrowing but hopeful story here.
Published Jan. 16, 2017
Let's take a break from arguing about politics to address something, er, meatier - like is a hot dog a sandwich? This question surfaces and resurfaces all the time, and it turns out people are frank (ahem) and opinionated on the matter.
Published Jan. 13, 2017
After a year and a half in business, The Winchester - named after a reference from the film "Shaun of the Dead" - closed for good.
Published Jan. 13, 2017
There are many reasons to watch Sunday's Packers playoff game, even if you don't give a pig's skin about football, or even sports. This is mine.
Published Jan. 11, 2017
Milwaukee singer-songwriter Lisa Gatewood started out strongly in her music career, but took a few years off to accept changes in her life - some chosen, some not. She is now back with a new EP and a new perspective on her music.
Published Jan. 9, 2017
People seem to have extremely strong opinions as to whether or not tube time belongs in the sleep space. In fact, whether or not to have a television in the bedroom is almost as polarizing as topics such as religion and politics.
Published Jan. 7, 2017
On New Year's Day, OnMilwaukee broke the story that Gypsy Taco, a food truck located year-round on the patio of Boone & Crockett, started on fire. The truck is repairable, but in the mean time, the chef-owner, Mitch Ciohon, will "pop up" at Lucky Joe's Alchemy & Eatery.
Published Jan. 6, 2017
It's seemingly rare that a bar or restaurant opens when it's originally projected to open, but that's exactly what happened at Matador, a hybrid taco and tequila bar located at 1110 N. Old World Third Street, which welcomed the public on Dec. 27.
Published Jan. 5, 2017
Warm-ish winter temperatures have slightly delayed the creation of the Dells' first Ice Castle Wonderland, but the cold weather seems to be here to stay and the tentative opening date for the icy extravaganza is Jan. 12.
Published Jan. 4, 2017
After 16 years, Trocadero, 1758 N Water St., will close its doors and the owners - the Milwaukee based Wild Planet Hospitality Group - will move toward its latest concept.