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Growing a Desire for Giving in Kids

Raising Generous Kids2

One of my greatest goals in growing my children’s personalities is that they become truly generous individuals.  I know that there are some children who are born with generous hearts and are just truly generous kids, but most of the rest of us are born pretty selfish, and have to be taught generosity. 

Obviously, my kids are young and I’m no expert here, but I figured that the earlier I taught my kids how gratifying it is to be generous, the more likely it is that they would desire to give to others.  Because of this, we’re teaching them about giving from a young age.

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t understand how money worked.  My parents taught my sister and I about money from a young age, just as I’m teaching my kids as preschoolers.

You can learn more about it in the original post, but basically the kids each have 3 banks, for spending, saving, and giving.  We talked about different ideas for giving, and the one my kids were most interested in was to buy food for a local food bank.

So, after several months of putting money into their giving bank, I decided it was time to take the kids shopping to buy food, and then take that food to a local food bank.  I had called the food bank earlier and asked them what items they were most in need of, and they said they were really low on canned fruits and vegetables.

I have a confession: after going to the grocery store and seeing how much money a can of veggies or fruit costs, I was afraid the kids wouldn’t be able to buy enough food to get excited by it.  So I snuck some extra quarters into their banks.  I hope that doesn’t make me a terrible mom!

Raising Generous Kids

We hit the grocery store and I told each kid how many cans they could pick out.  They each had their baggie of change, and I let them pay when we got to the cash register (in the spirit of kindness, I went to a register that didn’t have many people at it, and we shopped at a slow time of day- so no one was stuck waiting for my kids to hand over handfuls of change).

Then we headed to the food pantry with our canned goods. 

I think the most amazing part of the experience was seeing the faces of the people working the food pantry.  They were so excited that the kids wanted to buy food for the pantry!  And it brought tears to my eyes to see the kids so excited by it! 

One of the ladies showed the kids how much food it takes to feed a person for a month, and how many of their shelves were empty, because they had given out so much food the day before.  Then they thanked the kids, and gave them a package of fruit snacks.  They loved it, and I think it put the thoughts of giving more in context for them than just giving away their money and being told how it’s being used– they actually got to see it!

How do you help your children become generous?  Are there certain organizations or groups your family gives to?


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Raising Generous Kids2



Friday 22nd of January 2016

I loved your post! As a mom of 3 boys I can certainly relate to how important it is to instill this quality in our children. Thank you for sharing.

Jamie H

Friday 22nd of January 2016

Thanks for the kind words, Jena! I surely hope that my efforts help these little ones become generous!


Tuesday 24th of February 2015

What a great idea! We do a lot of service projects with our homeschool co-op and it so wonderful to see the kids helping others, it's awesome that you are starting yours so young!

Jamie H

Tuesday 24th of February 2015

We are just starting to interact with our local homeschool group, and look forward to when my kids are old enough to participate in more service projects. Thanks so much for commenting!