Passionate About Columbus
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10 Ways to Help Your Kids Be Generous This November

I can always remember growing up the things that my parents did for other people. The biggest impact was that they didn’t just tell us to be thoughtful and giving, they modeled it in their everyday lives. Whether it was my dad putting money into the book “Random Acts of Kindness” at Barnes and Noble or my mom sending countless cards to patients or people she had just meant once or twice…we were ALWAYS watching.

They showed us and continue to show us these generous behaviors. In fact, it might be safe to say, their motto is “Give while your hands are warm”. They stress to us that you can’t take money or things with you when you go, so now is the time to show your kids the importance of giving back to others and to your community.

Here are 10 simple ways to model to your kids how to be thoughtful and generous, especially as the holiday season is upon us. 

  1. Volunteer at Seeds for Caring– Have you heard of this awesome organization? It helps parents and kids volunteer together even at a young age. Check out their website Here so you can register for the upcoming events! We volunteered last week at a nursing home and our kids had so much fun. 
    volunteering-with-kids-2

    It was so nice to see smiles all around!

     

    We had so much fun volunteering at a local nursing home and so did the residents!

    The residents and kids had a great time volunteering and trick or treating at a local nursing home last week! 

     

  2. Charity Birthday Parties- Instead of bringing gifts, have your child choose a charity that is important to them. Friends can bring items to donate to that charity. You could also use this idea for a Holiday gift exchange as well. 
  3. Make a Gratitude Tree-We found this little gem at the dollar spot! Starting on November 1st, we each take turns saying what we are thankful for and we write our responses on the leaf. We hang our leaves on our tree and display it on our kitchen table throughout the month of November.
    Pick up a gratitude tree and make it a November tradition!

    Pick up a gratitude tree and make it a November tradition!

     

  4. Coffee Surprise!- Once a week, we get coffee and pay for the person behind us. My daughter says “I think they will like their surprise!” It’s the little things that they remember and see. 
  5. Hold the door- Spread kindness and do the little things. People are always rushed, but take a moment and hold the door for a stranger and better yet, flash them a smile too!
  6. Make “Have A Nice Day!” Cards-Have your kids make pictures that say “Have a nice day!” Keep these in your purse and when you finish up at the grocery store, hand them to the cashier or person at the doctor’s office, wherever you are. 
  7. Help out the Garbage Men: My sister and her daughter always give bottled water to the garbage men on hot days! Try giving them hot chocolate or hand warmers on those cold winter days too.
  8. Identify your Rose: Each night before bed, we ask our kids what “The Rose” of their day. It’s a special moment for them to tell us what the best part of their day was and helps them realize (we hope!) how much that they should be thankful for. This is also something to do around the dinner table as a family. Our one-year-old is still working on it 🙂 
  9. Write thank you notes: Even at a young age, it is important to get kids in the process of being appreciative. Our kids are so lucky to have grandparents that spoil them on a regular basis, but we want them to be thankful for all that is done for them. Modeling this behavior makes a big difference!
  10. Adopt a family this Holiday Season: It’s important to talk to your kids about those who are less fortunate. Plan to adopt a family this holiday season (Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, Welcome Warehouse or Buckeye Ranch) and talk to your kids about what that means. Donating toys to Toys for Tots or filling a shoebox with gifts for Operation Christmas Child can be a small way to start too. 

The most important thing to remember is that your kids see and hear everything you do. The more they see you saying thank you, holding doors, donating time and money, the more likely it will stick. My parents worked hard to show us how important it is to help others. I can only that some of these things will make an impact on our children as well.  So this November and holiday season….start small! Pick an idea off of this list and get your kids involved 🙂 You won’t regret it! 

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