parenting

Giving is a gift #AtoZChallenge

Giving is a gift Vidya Sury #AtoZChallenge #CollectingSmiles

Giving is love in motion

When my son was a toddler​ and able to walk, albeit a little wobbly-ly, my Mom enjoyed taking him for short outings around the area. She would pack some snacks, his water bottle, and a toy, and they’d set off to explore. Of course they took the pram, but invariably he would be walking, holding on to it as my Mom pushed it, very slowly. He would stop to look at every little thing on the way. It was a fascinating world for him. He loved to stop and talk to anyone see saw, including the birds and animals. And of course, a child’s grin and outstretched hand is so difficult to ignore, eh?

He also had this charming habit of wanting to share everything he ate–with everyone, including non-humans. Always ready to give what he had. We were blessed to think we were raising a natural giver.

On his second birthday, he insisted we made sweets and distributed it to the Home for the Aged near our place…simply because he passed it every day and chatted with someone or other there. I remember we made batches of sweets and indulged him. Next he wanted to distribute to the people at the construction site nearby.

Considering how generous my Mom was, I am sure she was thrilled to see her grandson follow in her footsteps.

Fast forward 15 years, and he wanted to sponsor a child with the prize money he received from his school for being in the top three. I was so proud of him. Again, when he received another cheque in the 12th grade, he chose to donate it to our local welfare home for girls.

Raising a giver is one of the best things a parent can do.

And to give us a few tips on how to do this, I have Jenny here today with a lovely guest post on how to raise a generous child. Jenny and I first connected when she approached me with a question for one of her expert roundup posts, and thereon, we became friends.

Jenny Silverstone is a gorgeous mother of two, a blogger and a breastfeeding advocate. You’ll find her giving actionable parenting advice at MomLovesBest.com. Connect with her on Twitter.

Thank you Jenny! Here’s the coffee and choco chip cookies. Please feel at home!

5 Ways to Teach Your Child the Power of Giving

By Jenny Silverstone

In case you haven’t noticed, the world is kind of in a mess right now. Hate, hostility, war and suffering are realities, even if you can sometimes tune it out in your small corner of the world.

Can one person cure all the world’s ills? No way, but with a simple act of giving you can make a life-changing difference for one person quite easily. And your child can come on that journey with you.

Why a Child is a Natural Giver

Kids love to help others. They are naturally kind and helpful — think about how many times your child offers her “help” to you when you’re cleaning or cooking at home.

If you don’t tap into that tendency now, you risk your child losing it forever. Because, without some direction, your child might grow up to be as selfish as some of the entitled youth we see on the news or reality shows every day. That would be a shame — both for your child and the people he or she could have helped.

To help your child realize her maximum giving potential and make the world a better place in the process, here is what you can do.

1. Lead by Example

Your child is watching every move you make, whether you realize it or not. She’ll learn her behavior from you. If she sees you helping people, she’ll think of it as normal behavior and will be more likely to want to do the same.

2. Make It Age Appropriate

Talking to your toddler about starving children is too much. She might not understand, or you could even frighten her.

But an older school-aged child can benefit from knowing that not everybody has it as easy as she does. If she realizes the next time she’s eating her meal that some children don’t have food to eat when they are hungry, she’ll want to do something about it because it’s a problem she’ll sympathize with.

Another way to inspire them could be to show them a video of disadvantaged children making the most of their situation. For example, you could show your child a video of these kids playing soccer with an empty bottle. The lesson here being, it’s not about what, or how much you have, but who you share it with that truly matters.

3. Accept Her Help … Even When It Slows You Down

While kids may have the best of intentions, sometimes it can take way longer for you to do something with their help than it would take you if they were sitting quietly in the other room watching TV.

But don’t let that discourage you from accepting their help. Even small tasks can make a toddler feel like she’s done something big. You can ask her to grab her younger sibling’s pacifier for you, or you can let your child help you adjust your nursing pillow to the right position.

Those early, simple tasks will be the groundwork for future, bigger deeds like giving help to an elderly neighbor or leading a neighborhood food drive.

Whatever help she gives you, make sure to thank her and emphasize how her help made you feel.

4. Help Your Child Find Ways to Give

Every hero needs a cause. A child may want to give but might have no idea how to go about doing it. That’s where your guidance will be invaluable.

You can show her ways she can help. Let her select something from your cabinet to take to the local food pantry. Tell her to go up to another kid who is playing by herself at the playground — giving isn’t always about helping in obvious ways. Sometimes giving your friendship to someone who truly needs it can have a butterfly effect upon the world.

5. Don’t Expect Too Much

While you should encourage your child to give as much of his time, kindness and resources as she wants to, you don’t want her to feel like she has to do it 24/7. That can be exhausting, and it’s unrealistic. Sometimes kids are selfish and think solely of themselves — just like adults do. That’s a normal part of her development. Don’t make her feel bad about it.

If you don’t give freely and willingly, there’s no point to it. In your quest to raise a giving child, you might be burning her out. It’s okay to give a gentle nudge here or there, but let her set the pace on her charitable and helpful deeds.

Did you enjoy the post?

Do you agree?

Which tip is your favorite?

G is for Going Bananas
G is for Get back up!

You Might Also Like

31 Comments

  • Reply
    Shilpa Garg
    April 8, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Leading by example is what I strongly believe in. It is effective and it inspires others without saying it aloud. KG is very high on giving a helping hand to anyone in any situation. I dont know how many times he must have taken accident victims to hospitals. I dont know, if you have read this post : http://shilpaagarg.com/2013/07/ubc-day-27-proud-of-you-kg.html.
    AG is walking on the footsteps of KG. He does not hesitate to help and support anyone and that makes me proud of both my boys!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 8, 2017 at 10:53 pm

      I went over and read the post, Shilpa! Not sure how I missed it. Thank you for showing it to me. Yes, leading by example is the best we can do in so many aspects of parenting. Hugs and thanks! I feel proud of your boys too!

  • Reply
    Cathy Graham
    April 8, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Wonderful post as always, Vidya and I liked the guest post part with Jenny as well. Raising giving kids is so important. Love these tips to help guide them in learning to give and be generous. Loved the anecdotes about your son and how generous and giving he is. You must be so proud! Thanks for all your give with these great posts, Vidya.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 8, 2017 at 10:55 pm

      Thank you dear Cat! I had my nervous moments as a Mommy, naturally, but now, looking back…I know I did some things right, especially the things that matter. 🙂 Some people have been mean about us showering our son with love, but I am definitely having the last laugh now, because I know we raised a compassionate human being.

      Hugs, Cat!

  • Reply
    Kaddu
    April 8, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Kids learn best by example. I was once staying at some relatives’ place. And my aunt was packing the lunch boxes of my cousins for school. Some cookie – chocopie probably. She actually told my cousins NOT to share it with their classmates! She literally forbid them to share it with anyone! I was stunned!

  • Reply
    Susan Bruck
    April 8, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing this lovely post. Young children learn mostly by imitating us, and I think it is very important to keep thins age appropriate. It’s easy to overwhelm a young child. Her world is very small. As an early childhood teacher, I agree with all of the advice above. Hurray for gift giving and hurray for letting children be children!

  • Reply
    Tina Basu
    April 9, 2017 at 1:00 am

    My son is in the same stage right now. He loves sharing his food with everyone around and offers his biscuits or snacks to us. WOnderful post as always

  • Reply
    Michelle Wallace
    April 9, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Lead by example!
    Lovely post, Vidya! Hope you’re well, my friend.
    *waving as I pass by on my A to Z travels*

  • Reply
    Cait
    April 9, 2017 at 2:08 am

    Lovely post. You give lots of good advice. 🙂

    Cait @ Click’s Clan

  • Reply
    Swathi Shenoy
    April 9, 2017 at 3:42 am

    You must be so so proud of your son! Enjoyed reading the guest post as well. I believe in leading by example. It is always best to do good things and let children learn by watching us.

    Great Indian Sale

  • Reply
    Aditi Kaushiva
    April 9, 2017 at 4:43 am

    Such a lovely post, Vidya! Leading by example is best a parent can do. You must be so proud of Vidur, he is special! Love and Hugs!

  • Reply
    Obsessivemom
    April 9, 2017 at 11:06 am

    A valuable lesson there and the post was so very practical. Keeping it simple and letting the kids help in small ways is a good place to start.

  • Reply
    Vinodini
    April 9, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Leading by example is a surefire way to get our children to emulate the giving pattern. My son is not really a giver but he does go out of his way to help people. He doesn’t mind coming home late after dropping half a dozen kids on his way home. As a child he would gift his toys to his friends because he felt they would enjoy playing with it. I loved Jenny’s tips of letting the kids set their own pace for giving.

    • Reply
      Jenny Silverstone
      April 12, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      Vinodino, I believe helping others is one of the greatest gifts we can give. So to me, your son seems to be an excellent giver! He sounds like a gentleman and you must be proud. Thanks for sharing the lovely comment <3

  • Reply
    Rajlakshmi
    April 9, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Wow you have taught your kid to be so kind and selfless. It’s beautiful, kids need to be taught the art of giving… to be compassionate about the needs of others too.

  • Reply
    Sayanti Deb
    April 9, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    I think every child is a natural giver and he or she can sustain this habit if the guardians don’t interfere his or her habits. Nice post indeed.
    -Sayanti from http://sayantideb.com/atozchallenge-gratitude/

  • Reply
    susan scott
    April 9, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Vidya, I do not know how your AtoZ posts passed me by – mind you it’s been a hectically busy crazy month. I found your G post via Michelle Wallace on twitter. Lovely post – all of Jenny Silverstone’s ways of being a parent to a child are wise and wonderful. Bets of all, to show by example –

  • Reply
    Wendy
    April 9, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Sadly, to date my score seems only to be two out three kids. But I have high hopes for number 2 to come good as an adult.
    I do enjoy your personal stories immensely. You paint such bright pictures.

  • Reply
    Wendy
    April 9, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    ps . I love the pic. Too cute.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 9, 2017 at 11:03 pm

      Ooh thank you Wendy. I go nuts trying to pic the perfect pictUre!

  • Reply
    Galen Pearl
    April 9, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    I wish I had read this when my kids were young. I was always a giver myself, but I realized after some years that my kids were unaware of this because I often gave quietly and said nothing about it. It seems obvious to me now, but at the time I suppose I thought they would just pick this up by osmosis. Once I saw that my kids did not have this spirit of giving, I set out to instill this in them. Your specific suggestions would have been very helpful! So to your readers with young children, take heed!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 9, 2017 at 11:12 pm

      Hugs Galen! What joy to see you here! During my own childhood, even though most of our family members were generous folks, we were still explicitly taught to give. I guess the backup helped. 🙂 My son, of course, was a natural, but the fact that he adored my Mom helped. Nevertheless, we also told him. Love to you!

  • Reply
    Birgit
    April 10, 2017 at 6:44 am

    It’s just lovely when a child just sees what he or she can do to help. Your son is just..special and it’s so nice to read this because many children only care what they get. I think some children just are born to help and others need to be shown. I like your tips and think that a gentle way is often best

  • Reply
    Neelam Bhatt
    April 10, 2017 at 11:58 am

    I am glad that you talked about the art of giving and helping others. The kids actually emulate what we do or say. I am fortunate that my child, right from the beginning, had this spirit to share and do something for the needy. His school runs classes for the kids from disadvantaged social backgrounds and also has this system of contributing to their well-being through monetary means and we try to do our bit by donating whatever amount we could manage. He is going to be 12 soon. At the age of 8-9 he used to teach construction workers’ kids during his summer vacation and tries to help them even now. We always tell him that he should do something in life, not only for his well-being, but also for the disadvantaged people. Apart from this, we try to take little steps in helping others (which I feel should remain anonymous as Rahim, the 16th century Hindi poet had said: “Denhaar koi aur hai, devat hai din rain, log bharam mo pe karein, tase neeche nain.” The real giver is someone else [God], but people perceive I am the one. Hence the eyes look down in embarrassment). Thank you so much…it only reinforces our belief in goodness 🙂

    • Reply
      Jenny Silverstone
      April 12, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      Neelam, thank you for sharing such an incredible story. You must be so proud of your son. We certainly can learn a lot from each other when it comes to this topic of raising our children to be kind, generous souls. And you seem to be a master.

  • Reply
    Sreesha
    April 10, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    This is such a sweet post. Loved reading about your son’s toddler years.

    Kids learn from what you do, not from what you say, so leading by example is rule # 1 in parenting, IMO.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 10, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      Yes, actions always speak to kids. They see more than we think they do! Hugs, Sreesha!

  • Reply
    rads
    April 11, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Neat post and reminders!
    On the flip side of giving, I also learned the hard way that one must be cognizant of how to give and when to stop giving, mainly being mindful of the person you are giving to.
    I would like to think myself as a giver, and I also learned that I must replenish myself every now and then as I can get empty and tired.
    That said, the world could use more givers, for sure.

  • Reply
    Jenny Silverstone
    April 12, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Vidya, thanks so much for letting me share. <3 And what an inspiring introduction you included. Your son sounds like an amazing person (how could he not be, with a mom like you?)

    Love,
    Jenny

  • Reply
    Heather
    April 29, 2017 at 5:48 am

    I’m very behind in my A to Z reading, but this post was very well done and I love the topic. I think I needed a little reminder about how we can all make our little corner of the world (and sometimes beyond too) a better place through simple acts of giving. It makes me thankful to my own mother (and the rest of the family who helped) who raised me to be a giver. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Reply
    Cool Gift
    May 1, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Hi! I am Ina being a blogger I must appreciate your beautiful blog. It was a very pleasurable experience for me to visit here. Lots of best wishes and both thumbs up for your success. Thanks.

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge

    %d bloggers like this: