Christmas is often associated with giving and sharing. There is nothing more meaningful and fulfilling than being generous to those in need especially this time of the year. This is why Christmas is also the best time to teach our kids the value of helping others. It will not only give them the opportunity to experience the true meaning of the season, but it will, more importantly, benefit their growth as an individual.
As a family, we are very active in our church organization’s work with the poor programs. Since both my husband and I are very much involved, we would bring along our 5-year old son to various projects and activities. Though he may not fully appreciate the essence of what we are doing, I can see that he is gradually learning the concept of giving and sharing even at an early stage in his life.
Here are five reasons why teaching our kids to help others will actually benefit them even more:
1.Our kids will gain a more realistic perspective about life. Helping the less fortunate will allow them to see the world beyond their “sheltered, pampered” life. That life will not always be easy and comfortable. This will also teach them to be thankful for what they do have and discover fulfillment in the simple things.
This Christmas, help them realize this by donating their old toys to the young survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.
2. They will learn to appreciate the value of sharing. Sharing their time, talent and treasures will help them realize that Christmas is not about how much they will receive but how much they can give. That whatever material or financial “excesses” they may have in life will have more meaning when shared with others in need.
One good way to share their time and talent is by bringing them to an orphanage or elderly home where they can probably perform their favorite Christmas carol or share Christmas meal with the less fortunate kids.
3.They will grow up to be better individuals. Helping provides them the opportunity to grow up to be a better person. Making them feel good early on in life about helping others will build up their character. They will later on discover that life is indeed more fulfilling if they can make a difference in this world. More importantly, it will also build up their confidence to always strive to do what is good and fulfilling.
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This Christmas, ask them how they feel about helping others. Be sure to affirm them and thank them as well for their simple acts of generosity. Make it a Christmas tradition to do random acts of kindness such as giving a bottle of water to a tired security guard in a mall or sending a greeting card to a neighbor or friend who may be alone this season.
4.They will develop compassion and humility. Our little ones will learn to care. At the same time, being exposed to helping the less fortunate will help them to be humble instead of thinking too highly of themselves. They will also learn to be more sensitive to the needs of others rather than being too pre-occupied with what will only benefit them.
Ask your kids to list down the people they wish to help and how they think they can help them.
5.They will experience real happiness. Helping others begets happiness. Knowing that they have made another person happy will allow them to experience real joy in their hearts.
Teach them to be a “secret Santa” to one person they wish to make happy. They can start with their younger siblings or a neighbor, or even a playmate.
Some of us may probably think that our kids may be too young to understand and be exposed to helping others, but with proper guidance, being our children’s role model and making them feel good about doing good will later on help shape them into persons of true worth.
While others may be benefiting from our generosity and charity work, we parents are also reaping the rewards through our own children. These simple yet meaningful lessons will eventually help them to value the simple things life has to offer. Our kids will thank us for it in the future.