Christmas may be the season of giving, but the practice of spreading cheer and extending help should be done all year round. This habit or lifestyle must start at home, with parents serving as role models to instill the importance of sharing to their kids.
Edric Mendoza made the assertion at a recent PRUWise webinar on money management. Mendoza, an entrepreneur, financial planner, homeschooling proponent, was the former lead anchor of ANC’s On the Money business show. He and his wife of 19 years, Joy, have six children: Elijah, 17; Edan, 14; Titus, 12; Tiana, 10; Catalina, 7; and Caylee, 2.
Raising children who know the value of giving
Edric said he and Joy first make sure they teach their brood the value of gift-giving. He explained, “When they receive gifts, we allow them to unwrap the presents. But they get to play with one thing at a time. So kahit Pasko, birthday, when they get things — 4, 5, whatever the number — they only play with one at a time.”
“Why?” he continued. “They learn the value of appreciating that one thing and being able to take care of it and learning to enjoy it. So that hindi sila madaling magsawa. They won’t suddenly say, ‘What’s next? Ay, sawa na ’ko.’ There’s no more enthusiasm.”
That’s one way parents can help their children not become takers and entitled, Edric pointed out. The little ones start looking outside of themselves and into other people’s needs.
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Another parenting tactic the Mendoza couple employs is to provide not Christmas gifts but means for their sons and daughters to give presents among themselves.
“Dati po pag Pasko, we give them gifts,” he recounted. “But we realized that for them to embrace the value of giving and instead of them just getting excited to get, they’re now more excited to give. Because we give them an opportunity to experience the joy of giving.”
From there, the siblings' gift-giving tradition has spilled out of their domain and into other families' homes. Later on, when the kids start making their own money, Edric would love for them to allot a portion of their earnings to charity.
Edric Mendoza's money management formula
Mendoza shared his formula for money management: 50 percent for spending for needs, 20 percent for savings, 20 percent for investing, and 10 percent for giving.
“From the money you actually make every month,” he said, “you can set aside a certain percentage that is just for giving. A giving fund. So that whatever the needs are —whether someone’s knocking on your door, or biglang may nag-text o message, or may nakita ka sa social media — you have something to give.”
Mendoza hastened to add, though, that the absence of a giving fund shouldn’t deter one from extending a helping hand. In fact, a little goes a long way. Plus, there are other means to help, such as sharing one’s time and talent. One can repack donated goods for distribution or paint houses damaged by floods.
As Mendoza puts it: “No one is too poor to give and no one is too rich to receive...If you want to get more, you need to give more.”