It is possible to raise generous children by setting a good role model and consistently using simple ways at home to learn behaviours that comprise Generosity.
Generosity needs a warm heart, social awareness and a giving nature. Developmentally speaking, it is too early to expect young children to be generous. However a solid foundation may be laid at preschool level, when they can be coaxed to share things, albeit reluctantly. It is only at kindergarten level that they become smarter and learn to compromise and share their possessions, in order to avoid their friend’s displeasure or parting of ways.
As a mother, you can infuse the habit of sharing with others, whenever you feel your child is ready. Later, you can start including other behaviours depicting generosity. You should not feel burdened with this task nor worry about taking out time for the same. Let us enumerate some simple ways to help you fulfill this role.
Provide a good model
- Demonstrate your own giving nature and the habit of sharing things with family and friends, consistently.
- Appreciate and praise your children when they are generous with each other or with their friends.
- A warm hug now and then will also work wonders.
- Show disapproval to selfishness in a firm and consistent manner.
- Keeping your family values in mind, identify the most important behaviours of showing generosity, which your child can learn. Be practical and set simple goals which can be achieved by him, without any pressure.
You may focus on behaviours such as sharing, showing kindness to animals and being sociable with family and friends. Slowly, you may advance to other behaviours, keeping your child’s pace in mind.
- Fulfill the behaviours with simple actions
Following are a few examples:
- Ask your child to help lay the dining table.
- And, to say sorry if he has hurt someone.
- Persuade your child to at least share one toy with his sibling.
- Also seek his help in sorting out toys to be donated to his school or given away to the maid’s child. Involve him while handing over the toys.
- Invoke family kinship as and when your child shows selfishness for instance, by saying “Our family believes in sharing, so let your little sister have that extra doll you have.”
- Or with simple activities
- Help your child in making birthday or get well cards for family and friends. Encourage him to personalize them.
- Read books or tell stories to your child on the following themes:
- Children who look after their pet animals and nurture adopted plants at home.
- Siblings and peers who help each other and happily share toys, books and other things.
- Children living in less fortunate circumstances may need some help from others. Pictures will help illustrate the story.
- Have free discussions with your child as to why some people are more fortunate than others. Show pictures and give lots of examples at his level, to better understand the concepts.
- Take your child’s help when sorting out material for charity. Take him along with you if you can, when handing over the material. This inculcates the value of giving to the ones in need.
- If possible show your child a less fortunate neighbourhood.
Ask him some questions later, to gauge what he has learnt from the visit.
Be ready to answer your child’s questions as and when he is learning the behaviours comprising Generosity, set by you. Be sure to be consistent in your practice.
Once he picks up the initial ones, advance to other behaviours.
A little effort from you will go a long way in helping your child become a generous person as he grows up.