Being a parent is probably one of the most rewarding, yet most challenging jobs on the planet. From a young age, we wonder what paths our children will choose, their personalities, hobbies, and which careers they’ll choose. It is normal to feel worried and simultaneously excited for your child’s future as a parent. While there are many aspects of our children’s future we cannot control, we can work to ensure that they turn out to be good human beings.

One significant value that must be taught to children when they’re growing up is giving back. Giving back is vital, whether it is to the community, charity, the earth, or relationships and friendships in their life. Jonah Engler believes that when it comes to generosity, there is no better way to teach your children than through your actions. Small acts of kindness, verbal affirmations, and donating your own time and resources are great ways to instill the importance of giving back to your kids. Here’s what you can do:

What Is Giving Back?

The first step to developing the habit of giving back among children is teaching them what the concept means. Many people define giving back as devoting time, efforts, money, and other resources to people in need simply of your own will. Teach them that giving back isn’t an obligation but the desire to help out those less fortunate than us and play our part in maintaining humanity on earth. While money can help communities grow, they must recognize that it isn’t the only way to give back. Jonah Engler believes that your time and efforts hold just as much if not more value.

Values of Giving Back:

To begin the conversation, help your child comprehend the importance of doing good in the world and explain the three core values to them. According to Jonah Engler, these values combined form the foundation of the will to give back.

Empathy – Understanding what others are experiencing, even if it is entirely different from one’s circumstances

Generosity – Showing kindness and being liberal when it comes to sharing

Recognition – Never disregarding and acknowledging the feelings of those different from you

How to Give Back:

Volunteering – One of the best ways to give back is volunteering, and rightly so! What better to give back than by offering your time, efforts, and resources to others without compensation. You can teach your kids to give back to the community by working or teaching in homeless shelters or charitable organizations.

Donate – Aside from their time, you can teach your kids to give back by donating material items. From old clothes and toys to extra birthday gifts, books, or stationary, much can be passed on to the less fortunate. This simple task can also teach children to avoid hoarding and make de-cluttering a regular habit.

Small Acts of Kindness – Giving back doesn’t require grand gestures. Even if you don’t have money or material resources, know that small acts of kindness in everyday life can go a long way. Holding the door for a stranger, paying for someone’s meal, sharing a smile, giving compliments, leaving unused coupons on shelves of stores, etc. there are so many things you can do to brighten up someone else’s day

The Bottom Line:

No matter the way you choose to teach your children how to give back, know that this is a habit that will stick with them for a lifetime. Jonah Engler points out that every act of giving makes the world a better place, whether big or small.