EARLY YEARS: Encouraging gratitude and generosity in your kids

It’s the season of giving. But sometimes children-- and the rest of us-- get too caught up in RECEIVING
Making charitable donations, and showing gratitude are habits parents can help instill in young children
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 6:08 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Small children often show that they have big hearts. The key is to nurture that generosity as they grow older.

“Making gratitude a part of your daily life is the best way to help children or teens to understand that they are present in the world around them, that there are many things that they can be thankful for, and that they have the responsibility and an opportunity to give back to make their community a better place,” says philanthropic advisor Shanna Hocking.

Hocking tells clients to talk to their children about generosity, even if they think they’re not old enough to understand.

“The child is able to understand empathy much sooner than we realize. And giving back is building on that compassion that they have for other people.”

Just like with most things, kids learn from their parents.

“So, talk about what is important to your family. What causes and organizations, why you choose to support them, and how you choose to support them, whether through volunteering or giving or encouraging others to be a part of it with you.”

Hocking had lots of great ideas, including giving older kids and teens set amount of money that they can contribute to an organization.

She recommends having them do research and just get into a good habit of sharing and donating to good causes.