As parents and educators, we want our children to be grateful for what they have been given and have compassion for those who are in need. Teaching our children about being responsible and contributing citizens is not something that will happen overnight.
If you’re unsure about where to begin, start with trying to do the right thing in every situation. Little by little, by modelling the behaviour you’d like to see in your child and controlling yourself in tempting situations, you will show your child how to live the values you deem important. Using positive affirmations with your child also goes a long way.
Contribution and social connection are the fundamental layers of what makes us human beings. We were all born with the innate desire to give, connect, share, and contribute (think of when you see a toddler jump at the opportunity to help with chores); that is why, when we do contribute, our brain rewards us with feelings of happiness, content, and wellbeing. Contribution teaches children to have compassion, patience, kindness, empathy, and the habit of giving back as much as they consume.
Parenting in the 21st century is not for the faint hearted. So, here are a few ways, which can help you get started in teaching your children about how they can contribute in their own way:
* As the saying goes ‘Sharing is Caring’ and this applies for your children as well. It is important for them to grow up to be responsible, contributing members of society. From an early age children should be taught to share their toys, food or anything else they hold valuable. You could reward them every time they share, which will encourage them to keep doing it.
* As a family, pick a charity that resonates with you and your family. Always make sure you give your child the opportunity to voice out his/her preferences when it comes to picking a charity of their choice.
*Donate clothes that no longer fit your child. Ask your child to help in segregating clothes that can be donated and always make sure you let them know that by doing such a deed, they are helping someone in need.
*Send your child to school with an extra set of some school supplies, such as pens, pencils, folders, or paper. Leave a note letting your child’s teacher know the supplies are for anyone who doesn't have enough supplies to get them through the day.
*During the summer and winter breaks, encourage your child to organise bake sales, or set up lemonade stands etc., and let them know that all these proceeds or a certain percentage of those proceeds can be donated to the charity of their choice.
Building character doesn’t happen overnight. It’s certainly not easy, and there’s always room for improvement. We should always keep in mind to be role models and to create a culture of kindness for our children and help them get started and motivate them to start something for a good cause, if they are willing to.
At Dolphin POD we teach kids because it is important to contribute towards our society and help them get started if they wish to contribute in any way possible