Why should I encourage philanthropy in children?
According www.phys.org, children who engage in philanthropic activities reap the following benefits:
- A boost in self-esteem linked to performing selfless acts
- Learn the value of money
- Engage in teamwork and experience the importance of working with others
- Gain knowledge of empathy and a commitment to helping others
- Develop and utilize skills such as organization, communication and problem solving
Developmental psychologist Marilyn Price Mitchell believes children who engage in philanthropic acts experience a greater sense of well-being, are successful academically and have better relationships with peers than those who do not.
How do I teach children about philanthropy?
- Lead by example. Children learn more by what they see you do than by what you say. Have children join you when you volunteer and you will be sending a valuable message about how to be a philanthropist.
- Promote their passion. Encourage children to get involved in a cause they care about and they’re more likely to continue with those philanthropic activities.
- Have discussions. Explain the different ways of being philanthropic—charitable giving, volunteering time or energy to a cause or being of service to those in need.
- Get involved as a family. Engaging in philanthropic activities together is a great way to spend quality time as a family while helping a worthwhile cause. Participating in a “Giving Circle,” term used for pooling money as a family, is a great way to teach children about charitable giving.
Visit Share Save Spend, www.sharesavespend.com, an organization that teaches children how to allot a portion of their earnings or gifts to spending, sharing and saving, for additional ideas.
When do I start teaching children about philanthropy?
- Early education is key. Children can become involved in charitable giving at any age. Choose activities and involvement that is age appropriate and related to their interests.
- Studies show the earlier philanthropic activities are discussed and introduced in a child’s life, the more likely it becomes a lifelong habit.
Philanthropic activities for children:
- Volunteer at an animal rescue by walking dogs or cleaning cat cages.
- Assist at a food bank by stocking shelves with donated food or bagging food to go to needy families.
- Visit an elderly resident in a nursing home or a war veteran.
- Help children undergoing cancer treatment by supporting an event. Visit http://pcflv.org for more details.
- Encourage children to develop their own ideas for a philanthropic activity.
For more ideas on philanthropy and charity for children, visit youth.foundationcenter.org.