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How I’m Teaching My Kids to Be Do-Gooders

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This past weekend, my son’s school hosted a bake sale to raise money for kids at our local public school. I thought this would be a great opportunity to teach my son about the importance of giving back, especially as we gear up for the holidays. 

My son is naturally concerned for others and being generous is a quality that I make an effort to bring out in him every single day. We headed to the bake sale, which took place during the New York City Marathon, and once there we purchased our goodies and then explained to Hudson why we purchased the yummy cupcakes and cookies and who it helps. He had questions that we were happy to answer to better help him better understand the concept of raising money for a good cause.

I want my son to feel genuine gratitude for the blessings he has and there’s no better time than the Thanksgiving holiday to do it. Here are five easy ways I’m teaching my child to be a do-gooder.

1. Coordinate a closet cleanup. I recently put together clothes my kids have outgrown to donate to Goodwill. I let my son help me pick out the items from his drawers and closet and place them in plastic bags. We talked about how he’s growing up so fast and the clothes no longer fit, but how there are many children who don’t have clothes and need them. This is a start into helping my kid learn what a difference he can make in the lives of other children and their families. 

2. Make your child aware of his community. At his school’s bake sale, my son picked out the cupcakes and cookies he wanted, and then my husband and I explained the small, but good, gesture organized by his school. Paying several dollars for a few baked goods to raise money for the community was a perfect opportunity to explain (and encourage) philanthropy to my kid. 

3. Read them books about kindness. Books about giving, sharing, and helping others teaches children the concept of empathy. Favorites in my house: The Giving Tree and Little Blue Truck.

4. Do the good deed yourself. When kids see you doing something good, they’ll want to do the same. One mama in my neighborhood likes to donate her hair for cancer patients. Her 5-year-old daughter now wants to do the same and she donated 8 inches of her hair to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths charity campaign, which creates wigs for cancer patients.

5. Get Involved. This holiday, my familia will get involved. We’re in the process of gathering gently used toys to donate to charitable organizations, such as Toys for Tots. Let your child choose a cause by offering them some options that spark their interests. For example, If your kid is into sports, they may want to donate a soccer ball to the local Boys and Girls Club or if your niños like cooking, make a donation basket of nonperishable foods and let them bring it with you to a local soup kitchen.

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