When we become parents, it’s easier to understand the concept of giving. After all, you have to share absolutely everything with a newborn who can’t offer much love in return. But for kids, sharing it’s a whole different experience. It doesn’t take much for them to understand the concept of “mine,” while teaching them to “give” or “share” is a real challenge.
If your child is old enough to start having money conversations, the three-jar system is an excellent place to start. Even at an early age, this method allows kids to watch their money grow and physically separate it based on goals.
Of course, you’ll find that spending is every child’s favorite. Saving is not as easy, but doable. And when you get to the giving part, that’s where you’ll encounter resistance. How do you motivate a child who worked hard to earn their allowance to give a chunk of it away?
Explaining the Importance of Sharing Money to Your Kids
Sharing is a tough sell. Especially when you’re trying to inspire a kid to find joy in giving some of what’s theirs. The key is to let children experience how good it feels to bring happiness to others.
As parents, we often want to tell and explain concepts to our kids. But sometimes, it’s easier to show them. Kids are such hands-on individuals that if you make giving a part of your family values, they’ll grow up understanding it.
A Child’s Experience of Giving
Does your little one love shopping? Most of them do! Whether they like to buy toys, clothes, or knick-knacks, it’s easy for kids to enjoy trips to the store.
But what happens to your child’s purchases when you get home? Have you noticed how many times they just become part of an endless collection that gathers dust in a corner? This is because what many kids love – and adults are guilty of this, too – is the thrill of buying “stuff.”
The great news is that, as a parent, you have an opportunity to modify your child’s habits. If you introduce the concept of giving as a chance to buy items for someone else, you’re more likely to spark interest in your kids. Plus, it’s the perfect way to encourage them to add funds to their giving jar and make your child part of the giving experience. Statistics show that giving can be a very influential part of your child’s development.
Discover Causes That Your Child Cares About
Once your child has reached their Giving Jar goal, it’s time to shop for a good cause! But what cause should that be? With so many options, it’s normal for your little one to feel overwhelmed.
Take this opportunity to discuss different organizations with your child and the types of issues they would like to support. Many kids feel naturally inclined to help animals. Others empathize with children in need. And some feel passionate about saving the environment.
Once your little one has picked the cause that resonates with them, head over to the store to buy their donations. By hand-picking their contributions, your child will truly connect with the process and feel that they’re making a real difference.
Making a Habit Out of Giving
Once your child has experienced the joy of giving, they will understand how this act of kindness is also rewarding for them. Don’t be surprised if they start to show interest in getting involved with other charities.
Some giving opportunities that many kids love include:
- Organize a pajama drive for children in need
- Raise funds to support school improvement projects
- Volunteer at an animal shelter
- Tutor younger children online
- Make cards and mail them to hospital patients
No matter what charity your child chooses, it’s also important to remind them that their work and time are equally valuable. If your child feels inspired to donate their gently used toys or clothes they have outgrown, this is also a great way to support those in need. It encourages the spirit of giving rather than focusing on the monetary aspect of donations.
What Not To Do
When it comes to motivating your child to share, the key is creating a fun experience for them. By helping the community, sharing feels less like a chore and more like a fun quality of your family culture.
Here are some ideas to help your children see how giving is better than receiving:
- Making fundraising calls? Invite family over to join in the efforts and then reward them with a pizza party!
- Gather your child’s besties to make jewelry and then sell them for a good cause. They’ll love the process of setting up a booth and selling their products to kind neighbors.
- If your kiddo doesn’t really know what to put on their birthday wish list, you can ask family and friends to make donations in your child’s name. Bringing loved ones together to contribute to a common cause makes children feel very proud.
Having the right words helps kids understand new concepts. Here’s some vocabulary that you can introduce around the idea of sharing, giving, and helping the less fortunate:
- Aid: Any type of help or support that you provide to others. This could be money, items, or the action of helping someone do something (like crossing the street).
- Collection or Donation Box: A container where people put their donations to help an organization or individuals. Some collection boxes are only for money. Others are for goods such as clothing or canned food.
- Food Pantry or Food Bank: A place where people can get free food when they can’t afford to buy it for themselves.
- Social Work: This is paid work performed by a trained professional to help those in need.
- Volunteer: A person who donates their time to help others without getting paid to do it.
Books for Parents to Teach Kids About Sharing Their Money
Books are a great way to continue teaching your kids about generosity. Whether you use them to spark conversation or prefer parenting books, these are some great reads that you won’t want to miss! If you want more book recommendations, head over to our best kids money books for parents guide!
Sharing Books to Read With Your Kids
Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem – Children ages four to eight love this songlike picture book by poet laureate and activist Amanda Gorman. This children’s book charms readers of all ages with inspiring language and soulful illustrations. It reminds us that we can all make a difference in the world no matter what talents we have.
Seedfolks – If you and your teen enjoy multicultural stories with rich characters and complex issues, this is a great one for you to read together. It’s message of hope is all about transformation and the power of planting a seed for growth.
Parenting Books About Raising Generous Children
Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World – Worried about the effects that social media and a materialistic culture can have on your kids? You’re not alone. With this practical nine-step program, bestselling author Michelle Borba guides parents to cultivate empathy in their growing children and raise socially responsible individuals.
100 Under $100: One Hundred Tools for Empowering Global Women – When teaching kids about generosity, one of the best methods is for parents to lead by example. And with this inspiring book, you can find many ways to support women around the world. Don’t be surprised if your child wants to learn more about your passion for helping others and wants to join in your mission!
Once your children have experienced the joy of giving, they’ll quickly understand why sharing feels so rewarding. By making gratitude part of your child’s financial habits, kids understand their role in making the world a kinder place for all.
Related Reading For You and Your Kids
- Does your child want to raise money for charity? How to help them
- How to teach kids about personal finance
- What is the 3-jar method of give, save, spend?
- Kids’ guide to sharing money
- Teens’ guide to sharing money
- College students’ guide to sharing money
- Great charities for kids to donate to (and have a big impact)