How to Teach Generosity to Your Child
Parents are powerful models to their children during their developing years. A such, their impact should transmit lessons which their children can assimilate into their value system.
Generosity is a positive trait that parents should consider teaching their children, for it would enhance the discovery of other traits that would help them to succeed in their future careers.
Educators believe that to teach generosity or to cultivate the trait of willingness to give and to share, children must first learn to be contented with what they have. In other words, teach children to minimize their wants.
Often, parents are guilty of lavishing their children with everything they want which is, more often than not, not what they need. They get the feeling of inadequacy if they fail to accede to their children’s demands. Parents should know that generosity is effectively imparted when their children are not engrossed with their various wants. Children must know what contentment is, for generosity is motivated by it.
It is mistakenly perceived that generosity is the consequence of one’s abundance of material possessions. This is the reason why we find many persons are unwilling to part with a piece of fruit for the benefit of the poor unless they first have a basketful of fruits.
Children are easily impressed by what they see in their parents. If they see them offering help and showing kindness to others, children emulate these kindly acts. If parents are mindful of the welfare of their fellow men, their offspring will catch the same spirit towards others, too. Of significant note is the time frame when parents are still the focus of the child’s vision and ideals, for psychologists believe that at a certain period of the growing child, specifically within the adolescent-to-adulthood years, he is inclined to secure for himself an adult identity that is distinctly different from his parents. Beyond this period, the formation of the value system in the child is difficult to achieve because the children no longer look up to their parents as their models. The transmission of values must, therefore, take place within the children’s formative years while parents are still idolized by them.
In the long run, it is the child’s character that his parents have molded in him that has a more telling effect on the kind of person he will be than his accumulation of information and acquisition of skills in his development. Ellen G. White, the author of the book, Education, wrote, “Character building is the most important work ever entrusted to human beings; and never before was its diligent study so important as now. Never was any previous generation called to meet issues so momentous; never before were young men and young women confronted by perils so great as those confronting them today.”