Fostering Generosity in Kids

May 13, 2010 at 9:23 pm Leave a comment

While many Kids Gardeningpeople are private about charitable activities, there is one case where it is a good idea to be open: with kids. It turns out that children who observe charity work among the influential adults in their lives are far more likely to be generous when they grow up.

A study by Independent Sector determined that:

  • “role models, whether a parent or someone else who engages youth in volunteering, significantly increase the future participation rates of these youth when they become adults”
  • In every income category, those who volunteered as youth give more than those who did not, and this impact increases with income.

The same group found these to be the top activities most closely linked to adult generosity:

  • Seeing an admired person who isn’t a family member help others.
  • Seeing a family member help others
  • Doing volunteer work

Whenever possible, include your kids when you’re doing charity work. Take them with you shopping for a food drive and have them pick out some of their favorite kid-friendly foods. Or let them help load donations into a car and deliver them together to the charity.  Throw on some gloves (you can find kid-sizes at stores like Target) and pick up some trash in a local park.  In doing so, you not only help your community, you also help to foster generosity among the children you know when they grow up.

Photo courtesy of northcascadesnationalpark on flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Entry filed under: Social Skills. Tags: , , , , , .

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