Some of my fondest memories as a child growing up is the annual Christmas party that my parents host for the entire family of our helpers, service crew and bakers from my parents’ businesses. My Mom and Tatay prepare food, loot bags for the kids, goodies and bonuses for the wives and husbands and funny awards for the employees. I remember having a good time with the people I spent my days growing up. Since I don’t have siblings to play with, I made sure I pester one of our helpers or the service crew.
We have games, Secret santa, music and food all night long. Mom taught me the value of giving early in life. She would bring me along when shopping for gifts for her employee’s children. She knew each of them – their name and age. I asked why we needed to buy them gifts when last year I didn’t recall getting a gift from them- not a single one. Mom said, “When you give, you do not expect something in return but rest assured it will be given back one way or another”. Yes, I have one wise Momma.
Today, as Peaches grows up, we’ve been teaching her the value of giving. That it’s not about how much you give and how much comes back in return but knowing you’ve given something to someone who needs it more than you do.
Last year, we gathered all our old clothes and bagged them making sure each had a shirt for a father, mother and kids. We went around the neighborhood and gave away the items to less fortunate families.
We’re planning of doing the same this year but we wanted to let Peaches participate more by asking her what she can give up on her toys.
After almost an hour she came back with these:
LOL. Well it’s a start, isn’t it?
After another hour and adding 3 more pieces, her Dad had to help her sort out her toys and convince her some of them had to go because she outgrew it. Troy also mentioned that if she didn’t give up more of the old toys, she’s not getting new ones because there’s not enough room to keep them. We also explained that these toys are unhappy because they are not getting played anymore because she has so much toys, she forgot about some of them but when she gives them to other kids, she’s making the kid happy and the toy too because it has a new owner and new home. This made her give up some more and I settled with what she felt was enough.
So how do you teach your kids to give?
Don’t push your kids. What we want to achieve here is the feeling they get when they give. If you push your kids to give up something they really love, they will eventually identify sadness with giving.
Show kindness. You’re the role model, practice what you preach. Show what giving is and what it meant to be kind. Kids understand these things better when they see their parents doing it and are happy doing it.
Take your kids to orphanage and shelters. Make your kids understand where the less fortunate kids live and how they live. She will see that you do not make up stories just to make her give away her clutter. Make her understand how fortunate she is with her things, school and home.
Do it as a family. Make it as your family bonding on Christmas to go around and give gifts. Ask her later on how she felt while you were giving gifts and receiving smiles and thank yous in return.
Giving doesn’t have to be expensive. It just have to come from your heart and it will be received with a smile and a warm heart. You should feel “troubled” on teaching your kids good values. It should come naturally and freely.